This year’s Idaho legislative session set a six-year record for – believe it or not – productivity. According to the end-of-session reports from the Legislative Services Office, 379 bills passed both houses, the highest number in the past six years. It’s not the highest number by a lot; there were 351 bills that passed both houses last year; 357 each in 2014 and 2013; 342 in 2012 and 336 in 2011. But this year’s session ran just 75 days, the second-lowest among the past six years; last year’s session was 89 days, and the 2013, 2012 and 2011 sessions all exceeded 80 days. The average session length for regular legislative sessions since 2000: Eighty-six days.
A look back a little further, however, shows a number of years when more than 400 bills passed both houses, topped by the 487 in 2000, an 87-day session; and 473 in 1969, a 74-day session.