Tuesday night, October 1, 2013, marked the release of the 2013 Wyoming Liberty Index, a project of Republic Free Choice. Citizen volunteers rated 429 bills introduced in this year’s legislature, which, in turn, led to ranking legislators according to how they voted or sponsored the bills.
Pro-liberty bills fared about 50/50, while anti-liberty bills were routed by almost two to one. Keeping in mind Calvin Coolidge’s dictum, “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” I’ll count this as a fair session – despite the fuel tax increase, the execrable SF 104 (Education-state administration) and the general rudeness.
Our most liberty-friendly legislators are Kendell Kroeker (R-Natrona) in the House and Cale Case (R-Fremont) in the Senate. This is a repeat performance for both, so double congratulations! The most liberty hostile legislators are Mary Throne (D-Laramie) in the House and Michael Von Flatern (R-Campbell) in the Senate.
Unfortunately the Index does not track all votes or non-vote shenanigans such as the refusal of the Senate Education Committee to report out HB 105 (the Citizens’ and Students’ Self-Defense Act) without so much as a “do not pass” recommendation.
As alluded to above, this session reached a new low in rudeness. Leadership told legislators to “put on your big girl pants” and that a vote a certain way on a certain bill was a violation of their oath of office. Worse, leadership let personal pique enter into the handling of bills. Then there’s the greased lightning speed of SF104’s passage, which was a disservice to the more deliberative legislative members as well as to the people of Wyoming.
Republic Free Choice is always looking for volunteers with the research and compilation of the Wyoming Liberty Index. If you are willing to put in some hours reading bills, please ask for more information.