New state legislative features: Length of tenure, legislators by county, and more

Since I uploaded the state legislative data earlier this week, I’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response and some suggestions for other ways to look at the data.  I’ve been refining and adding features over the past few days, so wanted to give a brief update on new interactions I’ve built into the website.

  • Length of Tenure Records: State legislators are now included in the ‘Length of Tenure Records’ subsection of the ‘Records & Stats’ section.  You can also narrow it down to just House members to see that Pat Bauer is closing in on 50 years of service; just Senate members to see that Joe Zakas and Frank Mrvan are each just one term away from being the longest serving State Senators in history; or all State Legislative offices to see that the average length of tenure in state history is just about 3 years.
  • Legislators by County: Because the Indiana General Assembly only introduced district numbers in 1966, pulling up the chronological listing of office holders for any district only gets you back to 1966.  Prior to that, district were named by the counties they included.  In order to get back to the state’s founding in 1816, then, I built a new interaction that lets you see every legislator that represented a county in state history.  Once on the page, you can use the drop down form at the top of the page to change counties or chambers, but here are a few example links to get you started: Every person that represented Harrison County in the House, and every State Senator that represented my home Wells County.
  • More tweaks to Session Rosters and individual politician pages: Now that the county pages are set up, I’ve gone back tweaked the Session Roster page so that the individual counties or district number listed for each legislator is a clickable link.  Similarly, I updated the individual politician records to work in the same way (Marion J. Bushemi is a good example, as he served both prior to 1966 and after).

As always, feel free to shoot me more feedback and suggestions at tf@capitolandwashington.com. I don’t know that I’ll roll out any more big features in the near future, but through the end of the 2018 legislative session I do plan to write some posts about the history of the General Assembly.

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