Civitas Action released its annual Conservative Effectiveness Rankings on Tuesday for the 2017 regular session.
Each year Civitas Action, the 501(c)(4) wing of the Civitas Institute, scores votes to evaluate legislators based on their level of conservatism.
Of the 170 legislators in the General Assembly only six legislators earned perfect scores, including only Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender) in the House and five senators.
“Civitas Action would like to commend Rep. Chris Millis for having the only perfect score in the House,” Civitas Action President Francis De Luca said. “Meanwhile, we congratulate the five Senators who earned a perfect score: Jim Davis, Ralph Hise, Wesley Meredith, Jeff Tarte and Jerry Tillman. This year there were several perfect scores in the Senate compared to none last year, but only one perfect score in the House compared to eleven last year. We are also encouraged to find that this year’s Senate overall average score is higher than last year’s but disappointed that the House’s overall average dropped.”
In 2016 the overall average score in the Senate was 56.8, compared to this year’s average grade of 66.5, representing a nearly ten-point increase.
In the House, this year’s average of 54.9 was a fall off from last year’s average of 61.7, a drop of nearly 7 percentage points.
Civitas Action chooses key votes on issues that are clearly either a conservative issue or one that conservatives would oppose and use those to gauge the beliefs of legislators.
One of the votes chosen to be scored was the override vote of Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget as well as votes on important issues such as corporate welfare, eminent domain, state’s rights and regulation.
“The Civitas Action Conservative Effectiveness Ranking is the only rating system in North Carolina that allows the citizens of North Carolina to gauge how their state legislator actually voted on a broad range of important bills and offers a score to better determine the member’s overall ideological stance, in comparison to other legislators, on the pivotal issues,” De Luca said. “The current scores reflect votes in the 2017 regular session, but more scored votes may be added from the planned special sessions this fall.”
More votes may be added from the session, or from the upcoming two planned special sessions in August and September.
Civitas Action has been producing annual legislative ranking since the 2008 legislative session and rankings dating back to the 2011 session are available on its site, www.civitasaction.org.