05 July 2008

Legislative regular session wrapup and rankings: Representatives, 2008

This week will be presented in addition to the governor’s decisions regarding bills the scorecard for House members for the 2008 regular session. Representatives will be graded on their votes on 10 bills, seven of which passed both chambers. The highest score of 100 represents a perfect conservative/reform voting record, while the lowest score of 0 represents a perfect liberal/populist voting record. The 10 bills and their weighings are:

HB 939 – gives a raise from $45,000 to $75,000 to Public Service Commissioners; a conservative/reform vote is against (10 percent)

HB 1122 – extends the period of early voting; a conservative/reform vote is for (5 percent)

HB 1198 – makes the state able to judge and punish campaigns for “false” information; a conservative/reform vote is against (10 percent)

HB 1347 – sets up a scholarship program for vouchers to be used by students in New Orleans for any public or private school; a conservative/reform vote is for (15 percent)

SB 51 – permits storage of a gun in vehicles on commercial property; a conservative/reform vote is for (10 percent)

SB 672 – raises legislators’ base annual salaries from $16,800 to $37,500 and indexes them; a conservative/reform vote is against (20 percent)

SB 807 – makes it easier for franchising for cable television thus stimulating competition and reducing pricing; a conservative/reform vote is for (10 percent)

HB 34 – shortens the hours that polls are open on election day; a conservative/reform vote is for (5 percent)

HB 436 – prevent rolling forward of property tax millages after 90 days and a governing authority may vote to dos o only once; a conservative/reform vote is for (5 percent)

HB 1022 – causes forfeiture of pension benefits paid by government for those convicted of a felony related to their official duties; a conservative/reform vote is for (10 percent)

(Last votes for passage were used. Since an absence is treated the same as a “nay” vote, unless a legislator requested a day of leave any votes for which he was absent was counted as such. For those who did request leave, their scores are adjusted by the votes they missed.)

Below is listed the rank and scores in descending order of representatives, with their party affiliations. Rep. Cameron Henry ended up being the only “perfect” conservative/reformer and, not surprisingly Republicans take the top spots, all but of them two freshmen or close to it. Surpisingly, however, some Democrats score fairly high, Rep. Neil Abramson scored well into conservative/reformer territory at 75 but perhaps a bigger surprise was Rep. Walker Hines at 70 who filed several pieces of legislation (which went nowhere) straight out of the hard left wing of the national Democrats. Warhorse Democrat Rep. Jim Fannin joined him at that level, perhaps changed by his new statuts as head of the House Appropriations Committee.

Nobody scored as a perfect “liberal/populist” but Speaker Pro-Tem Karen Peterson and Rep. A.B. Franklin did their best at 10. Democrats thoroughly dominated this end of the spectrum with holdover (and converted Democrat) Rep. Ernest Wooton and newcomer Rep. Nickie Monica scoring the lowest of the Republicans at 35. Speaker Jim Tucker tumbled from past high scores to, at 60, below the GOP average.

Party averages reflected the division. The average GOP score was about 62 while the average Democrat score was around 41. Interestingly, as a whole the most conservative group in the House was the pair of independents, holdover Rep. Joel Robideaux and newcomer Rep. Dee Richard, who between them averaged 65. As a whole, the House averaged a little over 51.

Next week will be reviewed scores of senators and the governor.

Henry 100 Republican
Ligi 95 Republican
Ponti 90 Republican
Talbot 90 Republican
Pearson 85 Republican
Geymann 80 Republican
Guinn 80 Republican
Katz 80 Republican
Lorusso 80 Republican
Abramson 75 Democrat
Kleckley 75 Republican
Burns, T 70 Republican
Champagne 70 Democrat
Chandler 70 Democrat
Cortez 70 Republican
Fannin 70 Democrat
Guillory, M 70 Democrat
Hines 70 Democrat
LaBruzzo 70 Republican
Little 70 Republican
Perry 70 Republican
Robideaux 70 Independent
Smith, J 70 Republican
Barras 65 Democrat
Burford 65 Republican
Burns, H 65 Republican
Connick 65 Republican
Howard 65 Republican
Lopinto 65 Republican
Smiley 65 Republican
Templet 65 Republican
Danahay 60 Democrat
Morris 60 Republican
Richard 60 Independent
Richardson 60 Republican
Trahan 60 Republican
Tucker 60 Republican
Waddell 60 Republican
Badon, A 55 Democrat
Badon, B 55 Democrat
Billiot 55 Democrat
Carter 55 Republican
Cromer 55 Republican
Ellington 55 Democrat
Greene 55 Republican
Hazel 55 Republican
Jackson, M 55 Democrat
Lambert 55 Republican
Mills 55 Democrat
Montoucet 55 Democrat
Pugh 55 Republican
Schroder 55 Republican
Simon 55 Republican
Guillory, E 50 Democrat
Hoffman 50 Republican
Nowlin 50 Republican
Pope 50 Republican
Richmond 50 Democrat
White 50 Republican
Carmody 45 Republican
Chaney 45 Democrat
Foil 45 Republican
Hill 45 Democrat
Hutter 45 Republican
Jones, S. 45 Democrat
LeBas 45 Democrat
McVea 45 Republican
St. Germain 45 Democrat
Dove 44 Republican
Anders 40 Democrat
Arnold 40 Democrat
Downs 40 Republican
Harrison 40 Republican
Henderson 40 Democrat
Morrell 40 Democrat
Roy 40 Democrat
Wilmott 40 Republican
Monica 35 Republican
Armes 35 Democrat
Gisclair 35 Democrat
Hardy 35 Democrat
Smith, G 35 Democrat
Smith, P 35 Democrat
Williams 35 Democrat
Wooton 35 Republican
Baldone 30 Democrat
Doerge 30 Democrat
Edwards 30 Democrat
Honey 30 Democrat
Jackson, G 30 Democrat
Johnson 30 Democrat
LaFonta 30 Democrat
Leger 30 Democrat
Marchand 30 Democrat
Ritchie 30 Democrat
Barrow 25 Democrat
Burrell 25 Democrat
Dixon 25 Democrat
Norton 25 Democrat
Aubert 15 Democrat
Gallot 15 Democrat
Jones, R. 15 Democrat
Franklin 10 Democrat
Peterson 10 Democrat

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rep Abrhamson was the rep who stood up and stopped SB543 in the House Committee.

Quinn claimed to be cleaning up 'messy law' and making no substantial changes.

As she admitted in the hearing, in reality she was seeking to '... we would never have to go to court for anything' (we being the top legislators).



SBQuinn 543

59:00 SB543 On legislative continuances

This is simply, as an attorney, I can't stand messy law, so this makes no real substantive changes because over the years things have been added put in places in this particular it was cumbersome to read we basically rewrote existing law

59:39 um under current law you are entitled to a legislative continuance for 15 days before a sessoin to 15 days after a session as well as committee meetings um there was some issue as to when you had to file that legislative continuance, the only thing that I changed the current law we were required to file a motion for legislative continuance within 5 days of the legislative session which is rather silly because you know when session is April 30th why make me wait until April 25th to file the motion for continuance why make our parties wait when we know months in advance um I think a year in advance actually when the session is going to be so I eliminated that five day window cause I thought it was rather silly, now you can file the motion for continuance at any time but you are still entitled to a legislative continuance 15 days before the session starts and 15 days after the session is over.

1:00 One of the staff members staff attorneys here had made a good suggestion to me under current law the judges have 72 hours after which to rule, her point was that if you file for a continuance a day before the hearing that enables the judge not to grant it until after the hearing so she suggested since I am fixing this, why don't I fix that also, I see her talking over there, I don't know if she has the language quite worked out yet, I tried to wait as long as I could

1:01 Representative Edwards may have a question to address.

1:91 Edwards Senator Quinn if we took I am looking at page 2 paragraph C which will be instead of within 5 calendar days or within 4 calendar days we said no later than that would I think take care of that that way you don't have the option of filing one day before the hearing you have to file 4 days or more

1:02 Not a bad thought, My only concern with that is committee meetings. I think there is probably a minimum of do you know is there any attorney on staff that knows ..

1:02 Edwards: I'm being told committee days in the interim you have ten days notice and the shortest amount of time to call a special session is 4 days.

Quinn My only other concern is to make sure there is no other time that we are are entitled to a legislative continuance except session extraordianry session and committee hearings... constitutional convention.. which would also have to be called 5 days in advance. I like your suggestion representative Edwards saying at a minimum within

Edwards no later than

Quinn no later than, if you want to offer that ammendment that's wonderful. And that really takes care of all of our concerns.

1:03 Edwards I want to offer one other amendment but the entire paragraph I was reading from okay so that paragraph would be reinserted as f1 ...Roberts got it Senator Quinn.

So you wish to offer that amendment Senator Edwards.

Yes and I do ...

1:03 Ukn Why don't you discuss the amendment that Senator Edwards is offering.

1:-03 Okay, what we are going to do, if you first look on page 4 at the bottom we have section E we are going to make that E1 and then if you go back to page 2 the language between lines 9 and 12 thats going to be E2 but it is going to read as follows "... see text..."

Any questions about the amendment?

Edwards When the court has to issue it right? The deadlines to file the motion should come before when the court orders.

Singletary (repeats earlier statement).

1:06 ... Quinn but that is going to come first E1

Rep Edwards offers that amendment.

There are two more technical amendments

Go ahead Ms. Braun

Page 5 We already had an E1 san {check out Quinn at this point}

Abramson {Compliments quinn}

1:08 The 60 day also applies to nonsession events, and I was just going to ask you why the 60 days When we are out of a session is there a need for something shorter

1:08 Quinn You are talking about the 15 day before and the 15 day after oh no, where are you saying 60 days

1:08 Abramson Page 5 line 5 it says " reads line" and C3 is basically when we are not in session but we might have a committee hearing or some other obligation which we haven't we can only do one thing at a time but this says the extension shall be for a period not less than sixty days and I just wanted to ask a question about that

1:08 That's a good point um and I have confirmed now twice today that this is when we are entitled to a legislative continuance and by the way its not just legislators its staff non attorney staff too I was surprised to learn but at any rate sessions both regular and extraordinary constintuational conventions so the only other time left is commitee meeting and I think you make a good point because in reality that was actually pushed to its extreme we would never have to go to court for anything which is not the intended consequence of this bill we don't need sixty days after every committee meetings so if you want to, if we want to play with that, now is the time and I am happy to take five minutes and see what we can do.

1:09 Abramson ... I.

1:09 Quinn 5 days, 10 days after a committee meeting, ... I mean, I know it takes time to prepare for the committee meeting which takes my time away from I need time after the committee meeting to prepare for going to court whatever you think is an appropriate time frame.

1:09 Abramson ... I don't know if I have a particular time frame I do htink 60 days particularly when we are out of session uh might be a little excessive at times. I don't know what it might be, a week, 5 days, 10 days, I don't have a proposed time period I am just suggesting we might shorten it

Okay, thank you Senator Edwards

1:10 Rep Edwards Senator Quinn, and I think this gets backto what Rep Abrhamson was talking about it appears to me that we could just omit that paragraph that runs through line 5 to 8 on page 5 because the only usage you are trying to pick up there that is not already provided for in the paragraph above it it appears to me are thos interim committee meetings.

1:10 Sen Quinn Let me think about that, but I would like cause I always found that confusing as well and our goal was to try to make this less confusing because it says somewhere else 15 days before the session 15 days after if we delete that though we need to provide for something for the committee it would be 15 days days before and 15 days after would be the continuance for a committee hearing and maybe that is

1:11 Rep Edwards I would just ask you to look at I thought maybe we could delete that paragraphbut if we do that there is nothing to cover that interim committee meeting.

1:11 Sen Quinn Not to my knowledge. Let me look. ... no there is no time period at all so that is why that is there I think 60 days is excessive ... maybe ten days?

1:12 Is that an amendment you would like to propose?

1:12 Rep Abramson We were just discussing that the current law is that you get a continuance for the day that you have a comitment for a committee out of session but there is nothing that gives you more than those particular days that day or those days that you are currently tied up in. I guess the suggestion was made that we just take out paragraph 2 all together.

1:12 Sen Quinn Then what happens for committee meetings then?

1:12 Rep Abramson The day that you are in committee you get a continuance.

1:12 Sen Quinn Tell me where, I am sorry I want to make sure I am reading this correctly.... during, I see.

1:13 Rep Abramson There is a concern that some of theses committee meetings require travel some legislators may take a day or part of a day to get home so we might be in a position to have something scheduled the very next day; to me a couple days; why don't we say three, we could change sixty days to three days.

1:13 Okay, were you proposing that as an amendment?

1:13 Rep Ambramson, Sen Quinn, do you have an objection to three days?

1:13 Sen Quinn No I don't

1:13 Rep Abramson Okay, yes.

Amendment voted on... to change 60 to 3. passed unanimously.

Other technical amendments to add.

1:14 Sen Quinn 3CX that we are changing is any constitutional convition.

The convetion is provided for in 2.


1:15 Sen Quinn Now is the time, I learned a long time to get my bill through I want to get my bill through, I want to be intellectually honest, now is the time to clean this bill up. The only thing that has come to my mind is regarding agency proceedings and I want to talk about that now because I would rather do that now than on the floor, I want to get a clean bill to the floor and non-controversial, for example, Board of Ethics comes to mind, particularly dealing with legislatures they oversee us when they have a problem and they are asking for all types of they ask for some very intensive information and very time consuming information and we know what our schedule is like here from sunup to sundown and I want to take a moment to make sure we are clear on what agencies and proceedings mean, what is an agency? and I realize this is my bill but this is something that I have not fleshed out and I welcome committee members input because it does concern me that it has never been tested but it is certainly problematic. I think we are all happy to cooperate with any agency particularly the Board of Ethics but it is very very difficult to do so when we are in the middle of session if not impossible ... is there a definition of agency... I am happy with leaving it the way it is and if we want to test it individually with those agencies when the time comes um unless somebody has a burning desire to place a definition of agency in this bill at the moment


Her concern and I concern is that we would not want the board of ethics to think that they were exempt from this, I can only tell you from personal experience that they do not think that they are subject to this.

Personally I was told that.

You seem very surprised to learn that this even existed um its created some real hardships so lets just leave it the way it is and we will just test it on an individual basis the only problem with testing on an individual basis they then believe that you have something to hide and you are being uncooperative with them when you are not you are just trying to do your job here at the legislature and make them happy at the same time and it is a nearly impossible task I can tell you that.


Burns Let me ask staff and perhaps I was hasty in adopting the amendment.

That was my understanding, pretty much any agency that would have subpoena powers

1:18 Quinn They have subpoena powers directly. I want you to know because we had that big arguement over Inspector General subpoena power that the board of ethics can issue a subpoena

1:18 Burns I know we have used agency as a general term before

1:19 Quinn So you are suggesting that if you receive a subpoena from the Board of Ethics you can invoke this particular um law and ask for a continuance until after session.

1:19 Quinn That goes over very big with them, let me tell you. laughing

1:19 Burns? I was told by staff and I was thinking on page 4 of line 10 the bill does cover and it is based on previous law it does cover civil case, criminal case and administrative proceeding I ... technical amdenment that i

1:19 Quinn That is fine, we will just leave it.

Abramsons comment on continuances...

Moved with amendments. Passed with amendments