Today at the Capitol, 26 state legislators received “Friends of Freedom” awards from the Advance Arkansas Institute (AAI). Many of these legislators represent the top tier of scorers on AAI’s newly released 2015 Freedom Scorecard, an index of roughly 100 bills that were debated in this year’s legislative session.
In the House, the following representatives were named Friends of Freedom:
In the Senate:
Legislators were designated Friends of Freedom if they had a Freedom Rating (based on an index of about 100 bills that were debated in this year’s legislative session) of at least 83 in the House or 74 in the Senate, or if they had a 20/20 Rating of at least 95. The 20/20 Rating measures votes on a relatively small number of bills that made it to both the House and Senate. For the 20/20 Rating, legislators received 5 points for each vote in favor of bills that advanced freedom and good government, or for each vote against bills that held freedom and good government back.
Three legislators received a perfect score of 100 for their 20/20 Rating-Rep. Mary Bentley, Rep. Jim Dotson, and Sen. Linda Collins-Smith-which earned them each a “20/20 Vision Award.”
Two other legislators who received a score of 95-Rep. Charlie Collins and Sen. Alan Clark-received their chamber’s highest Freedom Rating, which allowed them to receive the “Freedom’s Best Friend” award.
Rep. Richard Womack and Sen. Bart Hester were also named AAI’s two Legislators of the Year. Because of their work, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to statutorily protect the right to photograph public events; their work also helped Arkansas join those states which provide open, public access to criminal records.
Rep. Womack’s and Sen. Hester’s sponsorship of these measures made them Friends of Freedom as well.
Want to see our 40-page report, which provides each legislator’s voting record in exhaustive detail? Join the Advance Arkansas Institute and get on our mailing list! We would be grateful to increase the ranks of Arkansans who want to advance freedom and good government.