Club For Growth Foundation released its annual scorecard on Wednesday, grading lawmakers’ performance during the 2020 Legislative Session. The results are surprising, with at least one House and Senate Democrat outscoring their Republican counterparts on issues that GOP lawmakers typically dominate.
The free-market advocacy group examined legislative votes related to the Club’s pro-economic growth policy goals, issuing legislators a score on a scale of 0 to 100 based on their voting behaviors. Some of the objectives outlined by the conservative organization in 2020 included reducing and eliminating taxes, limiting spending and budget reform, ending abusive lawsuits, expanding school choice, and implementing term limits.
“The Foundation’s Congressional Scorecard is already the gold-standard in publishing the voting records of Senators and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on economic legislation, and the State Legislative Scorecards help educate citizens about which elected officials are champions of pro-growth policies at the state level,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “The Foundation looked at a number of important free-market votes in the Florida State Legislature on issues including taxes, subsidies, regulations, licensing, and tort reform.”
Compiling their 2020 Legislative Scorecard, the Foundation examined how officials in both chambers voted for economic policies that would strengthen the state’s economy and against legislation that would bloat and already massive government. When handing out scores, the group studied more than 600 floor votes and, in the end, included 16 Florida House votes and 10 Florida Senate votes.
According to the report, “each vote or action in the rating is assigned a certain number of points depending on its relative importance. The study also recorded a “Lifetime Score” for each lawmaker — if applicable. This number is a simple average of the scores from 2020 and all previous years where the lawmaker earned a score.
Republican senators scored higher than their counterparts, earning an average score of 72 percent to Democrats’ 45 percent. Senate members earning top scores on the list included incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson (81%), Senator Jeffrey Brandes (79%), along with 14 other senators earning a 76 percent score. Oscar Braynon was the state Senate’s top-scoring Democrat (62%).
Senator Tom Lee earned the lowest score (55%) for Republicans, while Senators Bill Montford and Annette Taddeo earned the lowest grades (28%) on the Democratic side.
The House, however, earned much higher scores collectively and individually. Republican House members had an average score of 81 percent, while Democrats in the House posted a dismal 40 percent average.
Three representatives earned 90 percent or higher, 65 representatives earned 80-89 percent, and nine representatives earned 70-79 percent.
Representatives Anthony Sabatini and Mike Hill posted the highest scores (94%), while Republican congressional nominee Byron Donalds followed closely with 90 percent. All three men were awarded the highest accolade presented by the Foundation based on their voting record distinguishing them as champions of economic liberty.
Elected officials who score 90 percent or better in a given calendar year and maintain lifetime scores of 90 percent or better are distinguished as “Defenders of Economic Freedom” by the group.
Posting the lowest score in the House for Republicans was Representative Sam Killebrew (76%), while Democrat Joy Goff-Marcil scored the lowest (9%) for her party.
View the full scorecards here: