Goldwater Institute Releases Annual Legislative Grades

Posted on August 24, 2011 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX – The Goldwater Institute’s annual Legislative Report Card was released today, taking into account 375 votes during the first session of Arizona’s fiftieth legislature.

Now in its ninth year, the report card is a citizen-friendly tool for evaluating state legislators’ votes and their impact on individual liberty.

“Engaged citizens make for good governments,” said Nick Dranias, director of the Institute’s Center for Constitutional Government. “That’s why tools like the report card are so important. We’re helping voters understand their legislators’ performance against a simple, important standard: whether they are restraining or advancing freedom.”

375 votes taken by the Legislature were classified into one of four categories: education, constitutional government, regulations, and tax and budget. Each bill was then further assessed on its impact, with bills receiving “high impact,” “moderate impact,” and “incremental impact” designations.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate averaged slightly higher scores than last year, with a House average of 53% and a Senate average of 56%. Unlike past report cards, no legislator received an overall score of A or higher. Individual report cards for each of the 90 members were also compiled and are available online.

The top scorer in the Senate was Ron Gould. In the House, the top scorer was Judy Burges.

Among the freshman class, nine legislators received an A-, while 12 received an F or F-.

The report card also compared citizen-funded candidates and government-funded candidates. As in past years, the data shows no connection between the source of campaign financing and scores received.

The full report card is available here and individual lawmaker scores can be viewed here. The online database is searchable by legislator name, voting district or ZIP code.

The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog that develops innovative, principled solutions to issues facing the states. Learn more at

• Infographic: Biggest score gains and losses among incumbents
• Infographic: How the freshman class fared
• The full report

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