by Karl Kurtz
The Washington Legislature's House and Senate websites have some marvelous historical graphs on the numbers of Republicans, Democrats and women serving in the two chambers from 1889 to the present and the numbers of bills introduced, passed and vetoed, 1983-2007. The graphs, which were done by Frank de Libero of DTI, Inc., are creative in their design and presentation.
The most striking thing about the charts of the partisan makeup of the Legislature is how closely divided it has been over the past 30 years. Democrats have controlled the Senate in 19 of the years since 1979 and Republicans in 11, but rarely has either party held more than 60 percent of the seats. The House has been tied during five sessions since 1979, Democrats have controlled the chamber in 19 years and Republicans six.
Are there other state legislatures that have similar historical information about the institution on their web sites? If so, add a comment below and let us know where to look for them.