Wyoming Liberty Group
WyLiberty Releases Preliminary Legislator Budget Frugality Scorecard
CHEYENNE WY: The Wyoming Liberty Group released the Budget second reading amendment vote scores for Wyoming legislators today. This ranks legislators on frugality as the Wyoming budget moves through the amendment process.
“The Wyoming government’s operational budget has a multi-million dollar deficit and is dipping into the rainy day fund,” said Maureen Bader, WyLiberty economist and study lead. “Which legislators are thrifty and working to bring the budget in line with available funding, and which are pushing the budget over the edge for a deep dive into the rainy day fund? We created this database to find out.”
The vote database creates two types of vote scorecards – the percentage of votes on amendments that increase or decrease the budget and the percentage of dollars voted on that increase or decrease the budget.
‘A thrifty or frugal vote—either no to an increase or yes to a decrease in spending—will give a legislator a high vote score. But this doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Bader. “If a legislator votes for one big increase and lots of small decreases, he or she may get a high score, but the dollar effect of his or her vote on the budget would mean an even bigger rainy day fund raid. That is why we created a measure that counts the percentage of dollars voted on.”
In both houses, all the Democrats vote overwhelmingly the least frugal. At the bottom of the list, eight Democrats on the House side and four of the four Democrats on the Senate side voted not frugally 100 percent of the time on 100 percent of the dollars.
At the top of the list, voting for frugality 100 percent of the time on 100 percent of the dollars sit eight Republicans on the senate side and four Republicans on the house side.
“That Democrats routinely vote to spend more and Republicans for less is no real surprise,” said Bader. “What is shocking is how many Republicans vote like Democrats.”
Third reading results and an overall report will be released later this week.
For more information, please call
Maureen Bader, Economist and Study Lead
Wyoming Liberty Group