30 June 2006

Legislative regular session wrapup -- House scorecard

In this week’s wrapup we’ll look at voting records in the House. By next week, the governor should have decided what vetoes to issue so we’ll look at the Senate’s voting record and hers (in essence) for the 2006 Regular Session.

Thirteen bills were selected to compile to the scorecard. Eleven of these appeared as good or bad bills in the Log prior to and during the session, while the other two, HB 685 and HB 699, developed into litmus-test bills during the session. These bills were chosen because they represented important issues on which there was some dissension within the chambers.

A point scale was assigned to each, with more important bills comprising a greater proportion of the index, where low scores represent a very liberal/populist ideology and high scores represent a very conservative/reform ideology. Both the House and Senate were graded on all the same bills except for two, HB 853 which failed in the House and SB 700 which passed the Senate but was prevented from being considered in the House. House members only were scored for the former, Senate members only for the latter.

The bills and their proportions: HB 685 and HB 699 – 13 percent each; HB 1028 and HB 1129 – 11 percent; HB 815 and HB 194 – 9 percent; HB 1130 and HB 853 or SB 700 – 7 percent; SB 18, SB 382, SB 742, and SB 747 – 5 percent.

Usually, not voting was counted as voting against a bill, since that is the practical effect given the minimum thresholds to pass bills (53 in the House except for some matters where it is 70; 20 in the Senate except for some matters where it is 26). However, if a member had asked for an excused absence for that day, a “nay” was not recorded and that member’s figure would be adjusted by not including that vote. The same applied to the newest member of the House, seated with the session partly through.

House members are allowed to change their votes within a legislative day as long as changing it does not change the overall outcome of the vote. However, for the purposes of this scorecard, to emphasize that legislators need to be on top of their jobs, they were scored on their original votes.

Some things to note:
  • Only one member was “perfect” one way or the other, Rep. Mike Powell who scored 100 as the perfect conservative/reformer.
  • The leadership was pretty much at the extremes. Republican Delegation House leader Rep. Jim Tucker scored a 94, third-highest overall and among Republicans. Democrat Caucus leader Rep. Eric LaFleur scored the lowest of all, a 9.
  • Interestingly, House Speaker Joe Salter was the most conservative/reformist Democrat at 61, behind 26 Republicans and the independent Rep. Joel Robideaux.
  • But, he was ahead of 14 Republicans, including all three party switchers from last year. While Rep. William Daniel IV was close at 57, third-lowest Republican was convert Rep. Ernest Wooton, and second-lowest convert Rep. Blade Morrish.
  • The lowest scoring Republican was Rep. Joe Toomy at 28, while the typical House Republican scored 64. The Democrat average was a 34, meaning only he, Morrish, and Wooton scored at or below that, while obviously no Democrat scored above the Republican average.
  • Relative to last year’s position, the biggest mover was Rep. Billy Montgomery, rising from tied for second-lowest scoring to fourth-highest Democrat at 56. (Rumor runs rampant that term-limited Montgomery in 2007 wants to run as a Republican in the theoretically most conservative Senate district in the state, District 37 now held by Sen. Max Malone).

    Powell, M Republican 100
    Schneider Republican 95
    Tucker Republican 94
    LaBruzzo Republican 93
    Scalise Republican 88
    Kennard Republican 87
    Lambert Republican 86
    Burns Republican 82
    Katz Republican 80
    Greene Republican 77
    Walsworth Republican 77
    Beard Republican 75
    Crane Republican 74
    Lancaster Republican 74
    Bowler Republican 70
    Winston Republican 69
    Geymann Republican 68
    Smiley Republican 67
    Alexander Republican 64
    Crowe Republican 64
    Smith, JH Republican 64
    Waddell Republican 64
    Bruneau Republican 63
    Dove Republican 61
    Johns Republican 61
    Pitre Republican 61
    Robideaux Independent 61
    Salter Democrat 61
    Erdey Republican 60
    Hebert Democrat 60
    Alario Democrat 58
    Daniel Republican 57
    Montgomery Democrat 56
    Martiny Republican 54
    Hutter Republican 52
    Smith, G Democrat 52
    Trahan Republican 52
    Chandler Democrat 52
    Faucheux Democrat 51
    Bruce Democrat 50
    Frith Democrat 46
    Morrell Democrat 46
    Odinet Democrat 46
    Strain Republican 46
    Ansardi Democrat 45
    Hammett Democrat 45
    Powell, T Republican 45
    Baudoin Democrat 44
    Cravins, Jr. Democrat 44
    McVea Republican 44
    Fannin Democrat 43
    Smith, JR Democrat 43
    Triche Democrat 43
    White Republican 41
    Hopkins Democrat 40
    Carter, R Democrat 39
    Downs Republican 39
    McDonald Democrat 39
    Townsend Democrat 39
    Kleckley Republican 37
    Damico Democrat 36
    Guillory, E Democrat 36
    Jackson, M Democrat 36
    Romero, R Democrat 36
    Durand Democrat 35
    Richmond Democrat 35
    Badon Democrat 34
    Baldone Democrat 34
    Carter, K Democrat 34
    Heaton Democrat 34
    Kenney Democrat 34
    Pinac Democrat 34
    Ritchie Democrat 34
    Wooton Republican 34
    Hunter Democrat 32
    LaFonta Democrat 32
    Cazayoux Democrat 30
    Farrar Democrat 30
    Glover Democrat 30
    Hill Democrat 30
    Morrish Republican 30
    Thompson Democrat 30
    Dartez Democrat 29
    Toomy Republican 28
    Walker Democrat 28
    DeWitt Democrat 26
    Guillory, M Democrat 26
    Jefferson Democrat 24
    Baylor Democrat 24
    Curtis Democrat 23
    Gallot Democrat 23
    Gray Democrat 23
    Honey Democrat 23
    Marchand Democrat 23
    Quezaire Democrat 23
    Barrow Democrat 23
    Doerge Democrat 21
    Harris Democrat 21
    St. Germain Democrat 21
    Arnold Democrat 18
    Pierre Democrat 18
    Smith, JD Democrat 14
    Burrell Democrat 10
    Dorsey Democrat 10
    LaFleur Democrat 9
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    I am interested that you gave positive credit for a vote FOR HB 699 which provides a state licensee telecom company to access provide proeprty beyond the extent of the of the limited servitude that the landowner had granted to the State or local governments. Note: the LA Landowners Assn has requested that the Governor veto HB 699.