Contact: Starlee Rhoades
PHOENIX - The Goldwater Institute released its fourth annual Legislative Report Card today. As Arizona's most comprehensive analysis of legislative votes, the Legislative Report Card measures each legislator's votes against the yardstick of the Arizona Constitution.
The Goldwater Institute graded legislators on 422 bills in four policy areas: education, constitutional government, regulation, and tax and budget. This year's scores average seven percent lower than 2005 scores.
"Freedom advances or recedes one vote at a time. We grade each vote on one question: does this bill advance freedom, or does it grow government?" said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute.
In both the House and Senate, legislators from both parties scored best in constitutional government. Regulation continues to be the lowest scoring category, with legislators imposing more rules and limits on the free market. For example, during the session more than 25 boards and commissions were created or expanded and only one was eliminated.
With nearly 1,600 bills introduced and voted on this year on issues from equine dentistry to income tax relief, it is almost impossible for citizens to keep track of their legislators' votes. This report card documents how legislators vote and provides a simple explanation of the bills.
For the second year in a row, the top scorer in the Senate is Ron Gould (R-3). Representatives Farnsworth (R-22) and Rosati (R-8) tied for the top score in the House. Eight legislators earned grades in the A range. 28 legislators earned grades in the F range.
Arizonans can look up their legislators' grades by zip code, district number or name. They can also download the whole report, which includes a list of all the bills reviewed, scoring methodology, and an analysis of the results.