Are your legislators Champions of the Taxpayer?
Or Champions of BIG Government?
Find out! View the 2017 Scorecard Website HERE
(SCROLL DOWN FOR SCORECARDS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS)
The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-Arizona) has released its 2017 Legislative Scorecard, which is the 34th annual legislative report card published by AFP-Arizona and its predecessor organization, the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers.
(For scorecards on county and city officials, check out our Local Government Scorecard.)
The scorecard assigns weights to over 300 bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers, with $1 million equaling one point on the scorecard. AFP-Arizona’s 2017 Legislative Scorecard assigns the heaviest weight to the budget bill crafted by Governor Doug Ducey and legislative leaders. The Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget was scored according to how many millions of dollars the Legislature and Governor voted to spend above or below $9.897 billion — including supplemental spending increases to the FY 2016-2017 budget.
This year’s legislative session was very positive. Here are some highlights:
SB 1522 — Balanced & Responsible Budget — The FY 2017-18 budget protects families and businesses from tax increases by growing state government spending more slowly than the rate of growth of the Arizona economy. The final FY 2018 budget figure was $9.817 billion. Even with $25M in supplemental increases to the FY 2017 budget, the total was $55M under the population-plus-inflation target.
SB 1431 — School Choice Expansion — By expanding eligibility for Arizona’s system of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs), this reform will help more Arizona schoolchildren obtain the educational resources they need to succeed. Please use THIS LINK to thank Governor Ducey and your Legislators for supporting the reform!
SB 1437 — Right to Earn a Living — This reform allows would-be entrepreneurs and job-creators to challenge professional licensing regulations that are designed to stifle competition and that do nothing to protect public health and safety.
SB 1152 — Stopping Hidden Tax Hikes — This reform protects families and businesses by requiring local governments to put sales tax increase measures on the ballot in November of even-numbered years, rather than hiding those measures in low-turnout elections.
As it has done in past years, AFP-Arizona also grades legislators and the governor on missed opportunities: important reform bills that are prevented from reaching floor votes in the House or Senate. Among the missed opportunities this year was the Senate’s failure to bring the Truth in Spending budget transparency reform to a floor vote, and the House’s failure to bring the Education Spending Transparency Act to a floor vote.
The highest-scoring legislator on AFP-Arizona’s 2017 Scorecard was Rep. Travis Grantham of Gilbert, with 94 percent, which earned him the designation of “Hero of the Taxpayer.” The lowest-scoring legislator on the 2017 Scorecard was Sen. Martin Quezada, with 17 percent, which earned him the designation of “Champion of Big Government.”
AFP-Arizona encourages taxpayer activists to look at elected officials’ cumulative averages on its Legislative Scorecards. For some long-serving Legislators, the Scorecard has 13 years of data, going back to 2005.
Read about the Scorecard methodology HERE.
SCORECARDS FROM PRIOR YEARS:
Read the 2016 Scorecard Booklet HERE.
To obtain the full spreadsheet for the 2017 Legislative Scorecard or past scorecard spreadsheets, email Tom Jenney at tjenney at afphq dot org.