Arkansas PoliticsPolitics

AAI Unveils Friends of Freedom For 2017

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 2017 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:
Bob Ballinger
Rick Beck
Ken Bragg
Charlie Collins
Jim Dotson
Joe Farrer
Mickey Gates
Justin Gonzales
Grant Hodges
Steve Hollowell
Tim Lemons
Robin Lundstrom
Austin McCollum
David Meeks
Stephen Meeks
John Payton
Aaron Pilkington
Marcus Richmond
Brandt Smith
Dan Sullivan
Richard Womack
In the Senate:
Alan Clark
Linda Collins-Smith
Trent Garner
Bart Hester
Blake Johnson
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 64 in the House or 56 in the Senate, or if they had a 20/20 Rating of at least 85. 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.

Hester and Pilkington had the highest 20/20 Vision scores. Hester also had the highest Freedom Rating in the Senate. McCollum and Dotson tied for first in the House.


Missy Irvin and Eddie Joe Williams were named AAI’s Legislators of the Year for their work on tort reform.

AAI’s Friends of Freedom scorecard and all of its other publications are mailed directly to members who make a $100 annual contribution.

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