Senator Deb Peters named among most effective legislators in US

According to a press release, FiscalNote, a Washington DC-based company that works to change how organizations engage with government, today announced the most effective State legislator in each of the United States’ 50 states. 

In South Dakota, they cited state Senator Deb Peters as the most effective legislator in our state.

The release noted:

“State legislatures are taking a much larger role in policy setting for heavily-regulated industries, and in some cases significantly diverge from Federal lawmakers,” said Tim Hwang, FiscalNote CEO. “For companies and groups operating in these sectors, engaging the most influential lawmakers across a number of key states is even more essential to achieving nationwide legislative and regulatory goals.”


FiscalNote’s Legislative Effectiveness Score – determined by the company’s proprietary government relationship management (GRM) platform – measures how successful a legislator is at sponsoring and steering legislation through each important stage of the legislative process, all the way through enactment.

The company’s proprietary algorithm weights 12 factors for each individual, including bills sponsored, bills out of committee, bills to the floor and bills enacted, with each stage receiving more importance. A legislator’s score for each stage is further weighted by whether the bill is substantive (i.e., attempts meaningful change) or non-substantive (e.g., a resolution, memorial or commendation) as well as the legislator’s performance relative to other members of the chamber. Legislators are also categorized by ideology.

The most effective U.S. State legislators – all with cumulative placements in the 96th percentile or better, compared to colleagues in their respective chambers – are:

Deb Peters (R-SD)

Read it all here.

19 Replies to “Senator Deb Peters named among most effective legislators in US”

  1. Charlie Hoffman

    She is a workhorse who will out work and out think anyone who thinks a short crisp speaking woman who actually listens to those speaking will respond with a solution. Go ahead (as Corey Brown told me) give her a problem nobody can fix. LOL She will fix it. Kudos Deb!

  2. grudznick

    This is quite amusing. It is not a made up scorecard from a pretend organization like the SDGO, it is a real scorecard from a national group. And young Ms. Peters, who outbattles and outwits the least effective in the legislatures is the most effective. Quite amusing.

  3. grudznick

    To be clear, Mr. Nelson is the least effective in the legislatures, and he has been bested over and over by young Ms. Peters. She, as the kids say, schooled him repeatedly.

  4. grudznick

    He cannot be out-resoluted, and one day he may himself be commemorated for that, but this Ms. Peters getting national recognition is going to irk him. And irk him bad.

    Somebody should draft a commemoration about how good he is at resoluting and Ms. Peters could read it in the Senate. If you vote against it, it’s a vote against Stace. If you vote for it, you mock Stace.

    Stace will take a walk and hide in the bathroom when the vote comes.

  5. Steve Hickey

    Congrats to Deb. She works hard and knows all things budget. The honey badger from my old legislative district.

    1. grudznick

      What is this honey badger business of which you type, Mr. Hickey? Why is young Ms. Peters the “honey badger?”

  6. Anonymous

    In Political Science and History, we used to study the workhorse and the show horse. The workhorse builds his (or her) legacy on the solid, lastingn ground of legislative achievement. The showhorse (stace) runs their mouth and is rarely remembered.

  7. Anonymous

    Have always been impressed with Deb Peters and am not sure why she continues to do what she does and put up with the crap that she does. Keep up the great work Deb.

  8. Anon

    Peters is indeed a fine lady when it come to money, but she is horrific when it comes to important social issues.

    1. grudznick

      She has a very round, if not plump, but yet pretty face. As a young woman representing the young women in her area, she does pretty well.

  9. Al Novstrup

    Deb is a very passionate dedicated legislator. It is a pleasure to see Deb solve the unsolvable as Corey and Charlie noted. It is much better to have Deb as an ally than an opponent. I have a couple of Deb Peters stories that will remain untold

  10. Troy

    When people lament the balance of power between the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch, I have three comments:

    1) Without Deb Peters most superior knowledge on the Budget, the imbalance would be exponentially greater.

    2) Term Limits- Knowledge is power and when you statutorily trade out legislators every 6 years, you reduce the knowledge in the legislative branch.

    3) Term Limits- Leadership is a skill both observed and experienced. When you are erasing observations, you get leadership less observed and you have troops less experienced.

  11. Anonymous

    The fundamental flaw with the study is that it equates effectiveness with the number of laws passed as though all laws are good. As a conservative, I know that stopping bad laws is more important than passing them.

  12. Troy Jones


    I grasp your point and it is a good one- passing bad laws or stopping good laws isn’t a positive. And, passing good laws or stopping bad laws is a positive.

    But, that isn’t what they were measuring (the subjective assessment of whether one is a good legislator). They were measuring who can navigate the various legislative processes and move legislation. I suspect because it is hard to get data on stopping legislation which can be mearsured is the reason “effectiveness” doesn’t include being an obstructionist.

  13. Anonymous

    What’s measured is what counts. What they measured is what they deemed important. I just can’t support her. She’s become a typical politician to me strong on politics and weak at fiscal conservatism. She’s more of a New York republican. I’ll never write her a check.


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