10 days, 10 observations

The legislature started 10 days ago.

Here’s my list of what I’ve observed:

#10: Women make up just 16%% of the legislature: GOP women = 7% and Dem women have a majority, at 58%. We continue on a downward trend from a peak in 2001. H/T Salt Lake Tribune

#9: Some legislators have chosen interesting swords to die on this year – climate change, anyone? Of course some people think hair braiding is an odd sword to die on, too….

#8:  The House is still funner than the Senate. Don’t be haters. You know it is.  Derek Brown is a piano virtuoso, Ryan Wilcox can (and does) sing, Brad Dee has a candy store, Jen Seelig cracks everybody up and well, there’s the “king beard”……

#7.  This session is starting even more slowly than most years. Cancelled committee meetings, mild-mannered interactions…..maybe it’s because of #6…

#6.  Illness has struck the legislators sooner than normal.  Usually everyone is sick around week 4 or 5. This year, some of them came in sick and more got sick the first week.

#5. Perhaps related to #’s 6 and 7, but hundreds of bills are still being drafted.  Some 400 are out, with 700 or so still with Legislative Research.  Fasten your seatbelts for the second half of the session.

#4. The Senate Sergeants-at-Arms are now “grey coats.”  Last year they were blue coats, but I have been on the Hill long enough to remember when they were purple coats.

#3.  Most of the 104 members of the Utah Legislature still don’t use social media. It’s a shame, actually. To quote Senator Henderson:








#2.  The number one reaction to hearing that Utah requires a license that takes 2000-hours to braid hair is: “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” Nope. Not kidding. I expect that to change this session. (FINALLY!)

And my #1 observation for the 1st 10 days?  The Utah Senate is ROCKING the online universe with their daily updates on their Senate Site.  They’ve got a daily blog, pictures, top tweets of the day, YouTube, live-streaming and even a Pinterest presence. Ric Cantrell et al get two big thumbs up.  Way up.

What are your top 10 observations of the 2013 legislature so far?


  1. A word on #2: that’s more hours than it takes to become a commercial airline pilot…just sayin’.

  2. What happened to observation #8?

    I’m feeling shortchanged here…

  3. to #5: I think the slow start is also due to the large freshman class; it takes them a while to get up to speed

    to #4: I always thought those coats were pink, not purple 😉

    • Sue, I am sure you’re right. Super-high percentage of newbies up there. 🙂 I know when I was a newbie, I counted it a great day when I could get from my office to a committee room without getting lost…..

  4. How many of those 400 bills are focussed on getting rid of dumb laws?

  5. I’m (still) mostly bitter you’re (still) blogging more than me. Good stuff though. Great observations.

  6. #11 As many of the 104 are looking bewildered, asking, “What’s an iPhone…Tweeter what?” Senator Henderson proposes all legislators carry one… and use it!


  1. […] Holly on the Hill made 10 observations about the first ten days of the Session on her blog.  Call it shameless self-promotion, but we love number […]

  2. […] now a word), and discovered some clown wandering around the chamber. We also were called more hilarious than the Senate by Holly Richardson. Here’s a bit of proof, if you’re still not […]