Home Virginia Politics Which Virginia State Senators Took the Most/Fewest Committee Votes in 2020? How...

Which Virginia State Senators Took the Most/Fewest Committee Votes in 2020? How Did That Compare to 2019?

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See below for some interesting stats, courtesy of @VACapitolSquare. For the source of these numbers, see the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) page on committee and floor votes taken by State Senators this session and in past sessions. Also, see my comments, below each screen shot…

  • Note that the Senators with the most committee votes tend to be: a) Democrats, who of course were in the majority on committees; and b) members who are on key committees, like Finance and Appropriations (Howell (Chair), Saslaw, Norment, Hanger, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Vogel, Barker, Edwards, Deeds, Locke, Petersen, Marsden, Ebbin, McClellan); and Commerce and Labor (Saslaw, Norment, Newman, Obenshain, Lucas, Spruill, Edwards, Deeds, Barker, Marsden, Ebbin, Lewis, Surovell, Mason, Bell).
  • Senators towards the bottom in number of committee votes taken are almost all Republicans, with dead-last place held by the ostracized Sen. Amanda Chase (R), who is basically persona non grata among Republicans *and* Democrats at this point. Second-to-last is Chase’s fellow right-wingnut, Sen. Bill “Rub Me Lamp” DeSteph (R), plus other right-wing Republicans. One Democrat towards the bottom is Sen. Barbara Favola, who isn’t on any of the key money committees. Why not? What I’m told is that she didn’t particularly push to be on key committees, doesn’t really have any advocates for her in the Democratic caucus, etc.
  • Some of this is related to seniority, but there are definitely cases where newcomers – like Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D), Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D) and Sen. John Bell (D) – took more committee votes than Senators with a lot more seniority (e.g., Democratic Senators Lionell Spruill and Jeremy McPike, in addition to Sen. Barbara Favola). Presumably, that has to do with which committees they were assigned to, but *why* they were assigned to those committees and not others is a bit more mysterious…

  • Comparing 2020 (with Ds in charge) to 2019 (with Rs in charge), we see big jumps in the number of committee votes for most Democratic Senators – particularly Sen. Jennifer McClellan (+942), Sen. Adam Ebbin (+855), Sen. John Edwards (+837), Sen. Creigh Deeds (+811), Sen. Dave Marsden (+720), Sen. Chap Petersen (+664), Sen. Mamie Locke (+652), Sen. Scott Surovell (+588), Sen. George Barker (+546) and Sen. Monty Mason (+516). Note that no Democratic Senator had fewer committee votes in 2020 than in 2019.
  • On the Republican side, most Senators had fewer committee votes in 2020 than in 2019, with Sen. Amanda Chase falling the most (-434), for the reasons mentioned above. Republican Senators actually taking more committee votes in 2020 than in 2019 were Frank Ruff (+317), Emmett Hanger (+251), Tommy Norment (+243), Jill Vogel (+179), Steve Newman (+167) and Ben Chafin (+137), all of whom other than Chafin are on the powerful (and busy) Finance and Appropriations Committee…

P.S. For House of Delegates committee votes, see here.