The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

April 26, 2011
During last session, legislators missed 48,600 votes

One of the most basic responsibilities of a legislator is to cast votes on bills. But 48,600 times during the 2009-2010 session, legislators either abstained on or were not present for votes, according to a Bee review of data from the Legislative Counsel's Office. Roughly one of every 12 votes during the session were abstentions.

The Legislative Counsel doesn't distinguish between votes where legislators were absent or votes where legislators didn't state a preference. Some abstentions were clearly due to illness, such as many of the missed votes by Jenny Oropeza, who died in office after a long battle with illness. Other abstentions are due to lawmakers seeking higher office, like Fresno Republican Jeff Denham, who campaigned and won a seat in Congress while serving as a state senator. And other abstentions are just due to lawmakers "taking a pass" on a controversial measure.

Here are the 10 lawmakers who failed to vote the most during the last session.

There are a few legislators who aren't part of this trend, and who rarely miss a vote. Here are the five legislators that abstained the fewest times during the last session.




Update: To answer a question from a few different people: If a legislator served a partial term during the last session, only votes taken when they were in office are counted toward their tally of abstentions. For example, if they came into office on Oct. 1, 2010, they would not be deemed as abstaining on votes taken during or prior to Sept. 30, 2010. And, for those interested, here's a spreadsheet showing abstention tallies for all legislators.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About The Public Eye

Welcome to The Bee's newest blog: Public Eye. In the coming months, you will see us breaking news here as well as following up on investigations we have published with tidbits, news breaks and behind-the-scenes descriptions of our news-gathering process. Know of a wrong we could right? Send our fraud squad your tips at: fraudsquad@sacbee.com.

The Public Eye

Categories


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives