The PAChyderm Coalition, a Reagan Republican organization, has just released its latest cumulative evaluations of legislators.
This updated list reflects legislative actions as of 4/20/2011. It was last updated 4/27/2011. Scroll down to see the bills used in the evaluations and the summary of criteria used to weight bills.
Howard Levine’s narrative:
This was frenzied activity during the last week as the legislature adjourned. Keep in mind that the legislature worked “late” last week on Wednesday to end the session and ended up working until after 5 am Thursday. This was not even a full week, but the House had 134 recorded votes and the Senate had 120 recorded votes. For a forty hour work week, that is an average of about one recorded vote every 17 minutes in the House and one recorded vote every 20 minutes in the Senate. In addition, there were innumerable discussions, caucuses, voice votes, and negotiations. In the week before that, the recorded vote count is 125 in the House and 87 in the Senate, so the final week came on top of a very busy prior week. We can only hope that legislators were able to carefully consider each of these votes before casting them. With bills recently amended, “hope” rather than “expect” is, unfortunately, probably more realistic regarding the previous sentence.
The Legislature has once again shown that, if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!
With all of the last minute activities which often resulted in bills getting amended, we are still reviewing the bills for amendments and may make modifications to weights of the bills or add new bills. Therefore, while there are no more votes being cast, our evaluation is not yet finalized for this general session.
The budget bills were also added to the evaluation which resulted in significant improvements in Republican scores since all of the bills passed on party line votes. We do not give sponsor weights to budget bills since they are generally worked out by leadership, and the person listed as the sponsor is not really the author of the bill in the same way most other bills are introduced.
Because of the large number of bills being tracked, we are seeing a “compression” effect where scores are closer than they would be if fewer bills were tracked. This makes the rankings as well as the scores important for determining overall performance of legislators. We are considering raising the bar on the Groupings for next year by increasing scores for all Groups except Reagan Republican to provide greater clarity and differentiation since the scores are so compressed together.
As always, we are interested in feedback from fellow Republicans. We especially welcome information concerning bill amendments that you think should affect the weight assigned to a bill.