2013 Kansas Policy Index

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The Kansas Policy Institute, Kansas’s "first free market think tank," releases its Legislator scorecard as a part of its Kansas Freedom Index for Kansas State Representatives and Senators once a year. The Score Card gives each legislator a score based on how they voted in the prior legislative term on specific issues which the Kansas Policy Institute thought were pro-limited government policies.[1]

2013 Score Card

Senate

The Senate section of the 2013 Kansas Policy Index showed how Kansas State Senators voted in the 2012-2013 term. The nine key criteria applied to all votes on legislation for Senators in the Score Card included:

  1. Does it create or eliminate an agency, program or function of government? Does it attempt to prevent the consolidation of multiple agencies? Consolidation of multiple agencies into a new agency is not considered creation of an agency for this purpose.
  2. Does it remove or give the government new power to prohibit or restrict activities in the free market? Examples may include licensing requirements and other restrictions on legal business practices.
  3. Is it hostile to the concept of Federalism as set forth in the 10th Amendment? Does it restrict property, speech, gun or other constitutionally-recognized rights or freedoms? Conversely, does it restore balance between the state and federal government, resume state authority over an issue under the 10th Amendment, or remove restrictions on constitutionally-protected rights?
  4. Is it supportive of or hostile to the Separation of Powers doctrine?
  5. Does it have a major positive or negative impact on the overall tax burden?
  6. Does it hold government accountable by making services more accessible and/or improve quality at the same price? Conversely, does it prevent such circumstances by favoring the interest of government employees over taxpayers?
  7. Does it reaffirm basic legal rights or otherwise protect citizens from judicial activism?
  8. Does it enhance or restrict citizen input on the selection of judges?
  9. Does it provide students and parents more choice or does it restrict school choice options?[1][2]

The Kansas Policy Institute used these key criteria as their primary means of evaluating the votes of every state senator on any given piece of legislation. All senators were given 3 points for every vote they gave in line with the Institute’s limited government principles on legislation falling under these key criteria. They were given one point for all falling for every vote given in line with these lesser criteria:


  1. Does it redistribute income, or use tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, individual businesses, or industries with special favors or perks? Conversely, does it eliminate special favors and perks in the tax code or public policy?
  2. Does it perform a function that can and should be performed by the private sector, or restore functions to the private sector?
  3. Does it grow or shrink the regulatory scope of an agency?
  4. Does it add or remove a minor agency or licensing board?
  5. Does it directly or indirectly create/reduce taxes, fees or other assessments?
  6. Does it increase or decrease control of the private sector through rules, regulation or statute?
  7. Does it increase or decrease long-term debt, or override or restore statutory or constitutional protections against long-term debt?
  8. Does it give or reduce special benefits for government employees or elected officials?
  9. Does it promote government transparency or does it restrict access to information that should be in the public domain?
  10. Does it change licensing provisions in ways that further restrict competition in the free market or does it relax regulations to encourage competition or otherwise provide for the functioning of free markets?
  11. Does it promote more efficient use of taxpayer funds or does it oppose or reduce government efficiency?
  12. Does it give teachers, principals, school districts or the Department of Education more flexibility to make student-focused decisions by relaxing or eliminating regulations or does it increase regulatory control?
  13. Does it prevent or allow government funds or operations from being used for political purposes?
  14. Does it require school districts to make student-focused decisions related to student achievement or does it allow school districts to put other considerations ahead of student-focused achievement?[1][2]

Each senator is given an overall number score based on both the primary and secondary criteria

In addition to a number score, each senator was given a percentage score, with 100% showing that a senator voted in complete agreement with the Kansas Policy Institute for all votes in which he took part.[3]

In the Kansas Senate, eight senators scored 70% or better while four senators scored lower than 30%. Dennis Pyle had the highest score at 91.4% and Tom Holland had the lowest score at 22.4%.[3]

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives section of the 2013 Kansas Policy Index showed how Kansas State representatives voted in the 2012-2013 term. The nine key criteria applied to all votes on legislation for Senators in the Score Card included:


  1. Does it create or eliminate an agency, program or function of government? Does it attempt to prevent the consolidation of multiple agencies? Consolidation of multiple agencies into a new agency is not considered creation of an agency for this purpose.
  2. Does it remove or give the government new power to prohibit or restrict activities in the free market? Examples may include licensing requirements and other restrictions on legal business practices.
  3. Is it hostile to the concept of Federalism as set forth in the 10th Amendment? Does it restrict property, speech, gun or other constitutionally-recognized rights or freedoms? Conversely, does it restore balance between the state and federal government, resume state authority over an issue under the 10th Amendment, or remove restrictions on constitutionally-protected rights?
  4. Is it supportive of or hostile to the Separation of Powers doctrine?
  5. Does it have a major positive or negative impact on the overall tax burden?
  6. Does it hold government accountable by making services more accessible and/or improve quality at the same price? Conversely, does it prevent such circumstances by favoring the interest of government employees over taxpayers?
  7. Does it reaffirm basic legal rights or otherwise protect citizens from judicial activism?
  8. Does it enhance or restrict citizen input on the selection of judges?
  9. Does it provide students and parents more choice or does it restrict school choice options?[1][2]

The Kansas Policy Institute used these key criteria as their primary means of evaluating the votes of every state representative on any given piece of legislation. All representatives were given 3 points for every vote they gave in line with the Institute’s limited government principles on legislation falling under these key criteria. They were given one point for every vote given in line with these 14 secondary criteria:


  1. Does it redistribute income, or use tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, individual businesses, or industries with special favors or perks? Conversely, does it eliminate special favors and perks in the tax code or public policy?
  2. Does it perform a function that can and should be performed by the private sector, or restore functions to the private sector?
  3. Does it grow or shrink the regulatory scope of an agency?
  4. Does it add or remove a minor agency or licensing board?
  5. Does it directly or indirectly create/reduce taxes, fees or other assessments?
  6. Does it increase or decrease control of the private sector through rules, regulation or statute?
  7. Does it increase or decrease long-term debt, or override or restore statutory or constitutional protections against long-term debt?
  8. Does it give or reduce special benefits for government employees or elected officials?
  9. Does it promote government transparency or does it restrict access to information that should be in the public domain?
  10. Does it change licensing provisions in ways that further restrict competition in the free market or does it relax regulations to encourage competition or otherwise provide for the functioning of free markets?
  11. Does it promote more efficient use of taxpayer funds or does it oppose or reduce government efficiency?
  12. Does it give teachers, principals, school districts or the Department of Education more flexibility to make student-focused decisions by relaxing or eliminating regulations or does it increase regulatory control?
  13. Does it prevent or allow government funds or operations from being used for political purposes?
  14. Does it require school districts to make student-focused decisions related to student achievement or does it allow school districts to put other considerations ahead of student-focused achievement?[1][2]

Each representative is given an overall number score based on both the primary and secondary criteria

In addition to a number score, each senator was given a percentage score, with 100% showing that a representative voted in complete agreement with the Kansas Policy Institute for all votes in which he took part.[3]

In the Kansas House of Representatives, nine representatives scored 80% or better, while eight representatives scored under 35%. Virgil Peck, Peter DeGraaf, and Amanda Grosserode tied for the highest score at 88%. Don Hill, John Doll, and Emily Perry tied for the lowest score at 29%.[3]

Complete lists

Click [show] in order to expand the tables below with the full lists of rankings by legislator.

Methodology

Pieces of legislating were included in the 2013 Kansas Freedom Index "based on the impact the proposed legislation has on student-focused education issues, the free market and the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government." The Kansas Policy Institute then determined whether a vote from a legislator was in favor of these principles or against them based on the specific legislation in question. Each vote was given points for its being in favor of limited government principles while those opposed to limited government were deducted points. After a final score was given, the Institute calculated the "Freedom Percentage of the individual legislator.

The Freedom Percentage represents the relative position of a legislator’s score on a number line of the minimum and maximum score, with the percentage indicating proximity to the maximum score. For example, if a legislator with score range of ±43 and a score of zero would be at the 50% point of the minimum / maximum number line. A legislator with a score of negative 20 on that same range would be at the 26.7% point (Freedom Percentage) on the number line (or 73.7% away from the maximum). It is calculated by adding the maximum positive score for the House or Senate to each legislator’s actual score and dividing the total by twice the appropriate maximum score.[1][2]

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Kansas Freedom Index"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 2013 Kansas Freedom Index