PHOENIX – The Goldwater Institute has released its Legislative Report Card for 2010, which analyzes the votes of Arizona legislators on 411 bills.
For eight consecutive years, the Goldwater Institute has issued its Legislative Report Card as a tool to measure how individual state lawmakers vote on bills that limit or expand government. Every year, this report is the most comprehensive, independent assessment of state legislative activity.
An online, individualized report card breaks down the scores of every lawmaker in four categories – education, constitutional government, regulation, and tax and budget – and sorts the bills by their impact on freedom as “high,” “moderate,” and “incremental.” This tool demonstrates that every vote a legislator casts can have an impact on freedom and it helps to explain the detailed voting patterns of each member.
Senator Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City led the state Senate for the sixth year in a row, earning an A. In the House, Representatives Andy Biggs of Gilbert and Carl Seel of Phoenix tied, both receiving an A-. Legislative districts 6 and 22 tied for the highest scoring districts.
The Goldwater Institute also analyzed votes to determine if a legislator’s source of campaign funding – either from private individuals or from taxpayers under the Clean Elections system – affects how often he or she votes for or against liberty. The Report Card found that in both chambers, privately-funded and taxpayer-funded candidates are about equally represented among the highest and lowest scoring legislators. This indicates campaign funding sources have no apparent connection to voting behavior.
Overall, lawmakers performed highest on education bills. The Goldwater Institute scores education-related bills favorably if they give parents more choices in where their children attend school and hold schools accountable for the funding they receive, among other criteria. Half of all legislators earned As in education, with several perfect scores in this category. This session, lawmakers passed a number of education proposals based on Goldwater Institute recommendations, including putting an end to social promotion of third graders who can’t read, and grading public schools on a scale of A, B, C, D, or F.
Click here to read the Goldwater Institute’s “2010 Legislative Report Card for Arizona’s Forty-Ninth Legislature, Second Regular Session.” The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.