shapiro least productive governor

Analysis: Shapiro Least Productive Governor with a Divided Government

Harrisburg, Pa., September 21, 2023 — Pennsylvania state lawmakers have enacted only 15 bills during the first six months of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration, despite having a full-time legislature, according to a new analysis by the Commonwealth Foundation.

Pennsylvania has been the least productive among states with divided government—where no single political party controls both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion.

Shapiro blamed the lack of progress on the state’s divided government. But as the analysis notes, Virginia, with a divided, part-time legislature, has enacted 812 bills during the same period. “In other words,” according to the analysis, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin “has signed 54 times the number of bills as Shapiro.”

The lack of progress is historic. “The 45 voting session days scheduled (31 days so far, with another 14 on the schedule) would represent the fewest of any session since 1964—and the fewest ever held under the current state constitution, according to the Pennsylvania Manual,” notes the analysis.

This analysis complements and contextualizes the Commonwealth Foundation’s previous report finding that Shapiro’s first six months were the least productive of any Pennsylvania gubernatorial term in at least 50 years.

“Shapiro’s failure to lead the legislature and drive priorities has led to a breakdown in the state budget process with no path forward in sight,” said Nathan Benefield, the senior vice president of the Commonwealth Foundation. “This is not the outcome Pennsylvanians expected when the governor took office. He needs to turn things around.”

You can read the complete Commonwealth Foundation analysis here.


The Commonwealth Foundation turns free-market ideas into public policies, fostering prosperity for all Pennsylvanians.