The 2020 House Freedom Index is now published, to compare the lawmakers' commitment to restoring and protecting individual liberties in their powers to create and rescind laws.
This year a member of the House leadership team Terry O'Donnell of the Tulsa metro delegation, led all scores with a +85, on a spectrum of 100 to +100.
A person scoring a zero on this index is deemed to vote against freedom in half the scored floor votes. A score of +50 on this index is equivalent to a +75 on many other indices that do not issue negative index scores.
Once again, two House freshmen tied in the 2nd spot; along with Rep. Kevin West of the OKC metro delegation. The freshmen were rural lawmakers from eastern Oklahoma, David Hardin, and David Smith.
Former Democrat, Johnny Tadlock was one of four Republicans tied for the 4th spot, along with Jim Olsen, Sean Roberts, & Judd Strom. Olsen & Strom are in their first 2-year term. Tadlock completed his 3rd term, Roberts finished his 5th term.
Unlike last year's inaugural index, the two major parties are not as clearly separated. Democrat Merleyn Bell scored 0, but that still put her as high or higher than 26 Republicans. Dell Kerbs was the lowest scoring Republican with a -40, which is worse that the worst Democrat in the 2019 index. Last year's average score was +28.8, but this year's score is a pathetic +6.8, which isn't small govt. creed.
Criteria for scoring
We look at hundreds of bills to find a good sampling of floor votes which represent a broad spectrum of freedoms and we evaluate how each lawlaker weighed & cast their votes. We also looked at how leaders of committees conducted themselves and the vast power they hold.
We added bonus points for legislators who took the time to draft and promote bills which are essential to protecting & advancing constitutional liberty.
What is the Freedom Index?
The Freedom Index seeks to identify how diligent a lawmaker is, to protecting individual freedom for the people of Oklahoma. We gathered a set of various bills which indicate many forms of freedom. Free Speech, Self Defense, Free Association, Vocational Freedom Economic Freedom, Parental authority, Healthcare access and options. Travel and Privacy.
How We Score the Lawmakers
We're using a scoring system that starts with a spectrum of -100 to +100, with 10 key floor bills in each chamber worth 10 points each. Unlike other indices which even award points for missed votes; This index awards 0 points for missed votes and -10 for votes deemed contrary to individual freedom & privacy. For comparison, Scoring a 70 in this index is sorta like scoring an 85 in most other indices.
What Are Bonus & Penalty Points?
We award 5 bonus points for primary sponsors in each chamber, on bills that advance individual freedom in the bills included in this index. We also assess 5 penalty points to primary sponsors for bills that harm individual freedom & privacy.
In addition, we selected a handful of other key Freedom bills which were left to die in committee during the spring session, without so much as a parliamentary motion allowed by the committee chair. That chairman who lets a key freedom bill sit unacted upon will be assessed a 5 point penalty to their own personal Freedom Score.