The 2017 report on “votes missed” during the last legislative session shows that Republican Representative Jim Walsh of Aberdeen and Democratic Representative Brian Blake of Longview did not miss any of their part in the 1,202 recorded roll calls or 341 bill votes that were tallied this session. WashingtonVotes.org has released its annual Missed Votes Report that compiles the votes by lawmakers on recorded roll calls during the 2017 Regular Session of the legislature.
While some legislators like Republican Representative Richard DeBolt of Chehalis missed 36 votes, he reported: “I missed votes due to a family issue.” Democratic Senator Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim missed 33 votes. Republican Representative Michelle Caldier of Port Orchard missed 62 votes, and replied, “While I am proud of my record [the] last session where I missed no votes, I, unfortunately, missed votes this year due to a medical emergency.”
This year’s scheduled 105-day session ended on April 23rd without an agreement on key budget and education funding issues. Governor Inslee immediately called lawmakers back into a 30-day special session which began on Monday, April 24th.
WashingtonVotes.org has provided access to objective descriptions of bills, amendments and votes of the Washington legislature since 2002. In addition, the website provides regular news updates to subscribers and website users, as well as a weekly roll call report to media outlets statewide.
2017 Regular Session Quick Facts
• New bills introduced: 2,194
• Bills passed by the Legislature: 341
• Recorded Roll Calls on bills in the House: 619
• Recorded Roll Calls on bills in the Senate: 583
• Legislators with no missed votes: 96 (73 House Members; 23 Senators)
• Legislators with more than 50 missed votes: 4 (3 House Members; 1 Senator)
According to WashingtonVotes director Franz W. Gregory, lawmakers worked at about the same pace as previous sessions, with the bulk of votes on final bill passage recorded during the closing days of each session. They took a total of 1,202 recorded roll calls and passed 341 bills. Four legislators missed more than 50 votes, and 96 members had a perfect roll call record. By comparison, during the 2015 105-day session, 92 legislators had a perfect record on 1,167 recorded roll calls.
“There are many reasons why legislators miss votes, such as civic or professional obligations, legislative negotiations and medical and family emergencies,” Gregory explained. WashingtonVotes.org contacted the legislators who missed the most votes and gave them an opportunity to comment on their record. A PDF version of the 2017 Missed Votes Report and responses from legislators is available online.
WashingtonVotes.org’s real-time Missed Votes database is also accessible by clicking “Missed Votes” under the Special Reports feature on the Home Page. Tallies are available for every session back to 2002 by changing the date range at the top of the page. Individual lawmakers’ records are accessed by clicking on a member’s name.