Report: Pa. Woman Legislators More Effective at Passing Laws

new report claims that Pennsylvania’s woman legislators are more effective at passing laws.

Researchers at the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University found that during the 2013-14 legislative term, 9.7 percent of bills sponsored by female legislators were passed and signed by the governor, compared to 9 percent of bills sponsored by male legislators. 

Female legislators were able to get more co-sponsors for their bills during that legislative term, according to the study. On average, legislation introduced by women had an average of 18.2 co-sponsors, while legislation introduced by men had an average of 17.1 co-sponsors.

In addition, researchers found that the state’s woman legislators were more likely to reach across party lines to pass legislation. In the 2013-14 legislative term, legislation sponsored by women (both Democrats and Republicans) had more co-sponsors from opposing parties than legislation sponsored by men.

Women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population – yet they hold only 19 percent of seats in Congress. In Pennsylvania’s 253-member General Assembly, only 40 women legislators currently serve in the House, and eight serve in the Senate. The Chatham study, titled “Few, but Mighty: Women and Bill Sponsorship in the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” begs the question: Why aren’t we electing more women?


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