14 July 2007

Legislative regular session wrapup and rankings: House members

This week is the first part of revealing the 2007 Louisiana Legislature scorecard, ranking each member on an ideology scale. The lowest score of 0 represents extreme liberalism/populism from a legislator, while a score of 100 shows the most conservative/reformer sentiment.

Important votes where there was an ideological issue at stake and where there was some minimal lack of consensus in the vote were chosen, each for members of the House, the Senate, and for the governor. This year’s choices particularly were challenging since there was less division than usual especially in the Senate because of the tremendous budgetary surplus. This week’s edition reviews the House; listed here are the key votes assessed and their weighings, given to the relative importance of the vote compared to others in the session (unless noted, vote is for final passage prior to any conference):

  • HB 25 (5 percent) – broadens the women’s “right to know” provisions in pre-natal counseling to include information that the fetus may feel pain if aborted. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 407 (5 percent) – continues adding an extra fee onto drivers’ licenses for litter reduction. Voting “no” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 436 (5 percent) – reforms the indigent defense system to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • SB 195 (5 percent) – attempts to privatize the state-owned insurer. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • SCR 76 (10 percent) – votes to approve a large amount of spending on the rebuilding of the Medical Center of Louisiana New Orleans. Voting “no” is conservative/reform.
  • HCR 10 second vote (15 percent) – vote to exceed the state’s constitutional spending cap. Voting “no” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 1 vote A11 (15 percent) – would have allowed state spending to use only 23 percent of the surplus. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 1 vote A10B (15 percent) – would have stripped the bill of funding any vacant positions in state government. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 1 vote A8C (15 percent) – would have stripped the bill of funding for salary increases for vacant positions in state government. Voting “yes” is conservative/reform.
  • HB 3 second vote for passage (10 percent) – to enable debt selling which conservatives/reformers had resisted in order to force compromise on less spending in HB 1. Voting “no” is conservative/reform.

    (As always, if a representative asked for leave the score was adjusted for that. If leave was not asked for, it was counted as a vote not for the conservative/reform side. Also, only original votes, not those changed, were used. However, no House member asked for leave or changed these votes.)

  • And so the ranking is:

    Bowler 100 Republican
    Scalise 100 Republican
    Schneider 100 Republican
    Smiley 100 Republican
    Alexander 95 Republican
    Crowe 95 Republican
    Geymann 95 Republican
    Greene 95 Republican
    Lancaster 95 Republican
    Strain 95 Republican
    Trahan 90 Republican
    Tucker 90 Republican
    Walsworth 90 Republican
    Katz 85 Republican
    Lorusso 85 Republican
    Martiny 85 Republican
    Beard 80 Republican
    Kleckley 80 Republican
    Morris 80 Republican
    Powell, M 80 Republican
    Waddell 80 Republican
    Winston 80 Republican
    Burns 75 Republican
    Crane 75 Republican
    Johns 75 Republican
    Morrish 75 Republican
    Toomy 75 Republican
    Dove 70 Republican
    LaBruzzo 70 Republican
    Robideaux 70 Independent
    Wooton 70 Republican
    Erdey 65 Republican
    Smith, JH 65 Republican
    Pitre 60 Republican
    Hutter 55 Republican
    Powell, T 55 Republican
    Lambert 50 Republican
    Ansardi 45 Democrat
    McVea 45 Republican
    Montgomery 45 Republican
    Romero, R 45 Democrat
    Frith 40 Democrat
    Hebert 40 Democrat
    Kennard 35 Republican
    Arnold 30 Democrat
    Daniel 30 Republican
    Downs 30 Republican
    Faucheux 30 Democrat
    Triche 30 Democrat
    White 30 Republican
    Richmond 25 Democrat
    Alario 15 Democrat
    Anders 15 Democrat
    Badon 15 Democrat
    Baldone 15 Democrat
    Barrow 15 Democrat
    Baudoin 15 Democrat
    Carter, R 15 Democrat
    Chandler 15 Democrat
    Dartez 15 Democrat
    Doerge 15 Democrat
    Dorsey 15 Democrat
    Durand 15 Democrat
    Fannin 15 Democrat
    Farrar 15 Democrat
    Guillory, EL 15 Democrat
    Guillory, EJ 15 Democrat
    Guillory, M 15 Democrat
    Heaton 15 Republican
    Hill 15 Democrat
    Kenney 15 Democrat
    LaFleur 15 Democrat
    McDonald 15 Democrat
    Pinac 15 Democrat
    Ritchie 15 Democrat
    Salter 15 Democrat
    Smith. JD 15 Democrat
    St. Germain 15 Democrat
    Thompson 15 Democrat
    Townsend 15 Democrat
    Williams 15 Democrat
    Baylor 10 Democrat
    Bruce 10 Democrat
    Burrell 10 Democrat
    Cazayoux 10 Democrat
    Curtis 10 Democrat
    Damico 10 Democrat
    Gallot 10 Democrat
    Harris 10 Democrat
    Hunter 10 Democrat
    Jefferson-Bullock 10 Democrat
    LaFonta 10 Democrat
    Marchand 10 Democrat
    Morrell 10 Democrat
    Odinet 10 Democrat
    Pierre 10 Democrat
    Smith, G 10 Democrat
    Walker 10 Democrat
    Carter, K 5 Democrat
    DeWitt 5 Democrat
    Gray 5 Democrat
    Honey 5 Democrat
    Jackson, M 5 Democrat
    Quezaire 5 Democrat
    Smith, JR 5 Democrat

  • The House average overall was a shade under 40, while Republicans averaged about 73, and the Democrats’ mean was around 15. It’s worth noting that among the two switchers from Democrat to Republican from last regular session to this, Alex Heaton was the lowest-scoring Republican at the Democrat average, while Billy Montgomery’s 45 tied him for fourth-lowest Republican and would have tied for highest among Democrats.

    Next week’s edition takes a look at senators' and the governor’s scores.

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