Nearly a third of the members of the Florida Legislature received high marks in an annual report released Tuesday morning by Americans for Prosperity-Florida, a grassroots advocacy group.
AFP gave 50 legislators–11 senators and 39 representatives–an A+ in its 2017 Economic Freedom Scorecard.
“The state of Florida is embracing economic freedom, and our families and businesses will be better off because of it,” said AFP-FL state director, Chris Hudson. “Taxpayers saved nearly $1.5 billion dollars between property tax cuts, a reduction in the burdensome commercial lease tax, and eliminating all incentive funding for Enterprise Florida.”
Hudson also pointed to school choice issues taken into consideration for the report, including the expansion of both the Gardiner Scholarship program for students with special needs and the Florida tax credit scholarship, as well as the creation of the “Schools of Hope” program.
Overall, AFP evaluated 5,500 votes taken on 96 issues during this year’s regular legislative session. The organization included votes taken on the House and Senate floors, as well as in the committee process. Each vote carried the same weight in the scoring process.
In order to receive an A+ grade, a lawmaker had to score 100 percent or higher.
Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, scored the highest among all lawmakers with a score of 140 percent. He was followed in the Senate by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon at 114.29 percent; Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, with 113.33 percent; Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, with 110.53 percent; and Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake with 106 percent.
Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah, received the highest score in the House with 108.1 percent, followed by Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, at 106.1 percent; Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, at 105.7 percent; Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, at 105.4 percent; and Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Clearwater, at 105.4 percent.
For more information on AFP’s 2017 Economic Freedom scorecard you can visit the group’s website at FloridaScorecard.com.