FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A retiring Kentucky state lawmaker has been named one of the 20 most effective legislators in the country by FiscalNote, a Washington, DC-based tech start-up which annually creates a list of the top state legislators using its unique data analytics software.
Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, was named the third-most productive state representative in the nation, having sponsored 1,110 bills with a 57 percent bill passage rate, since he entered the Kentucky House in 1976. He also served as Speaker of the House from 1995-2008.
The group also identified Richards’ top policy issues as education, government administration and sports and recreation. They gave him an ideology rating of “fairly liberal” and listed his closest bipartisan colleague as current Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect.
FiscalNote ranked all representatives and senators in accordance with their legislative productivity, defined as how successful a legislator is at sponsoring and steering legislation through each stage of the legislative process. Using the platform’s real-time global data, advanced analytics and proprietary algorithm, they determined the most productive state legislators by evaluating the quantity, endurance and substance of all bills each legislator sponsored and introduced in their state legislature.
“State legislators play an important role in shaping both local and national policies which is why it is so important to recognize their productive legislative contributions said Tim Hwang, Founder and CEO of FiscalNote. “Despite the partisan politics that play out in Washington, the most productive state legislators are markedly balanced between party lines, demonstrating the importance of bipartisanship when addressing the most pressing issues facing our communities today.”
In addition to his third ranking overall, Richards was the top-finishing Democrat in the top 10 state representatives.
“Leveraging FiscalNote’s powerful Issues Management Platform, we were able to review years, and in some cases, decades of data to identify the important factors that enable a legislator to be productive,” said Dr. Vlad Eidelman, the firm’s VP of Research. “By identifying key data points that defined their productivity, FiscalNote was able to contextualize and explain their success in generating policy change, which can be used as a model for all legislators looking to address the complex socio-political issues impacting their constituents.”
FiscalNote will honor Richards and the other top 20 finishers, ten representatives and 10 senators at a gathering in Washington, this coming November.