Center Ranks BEST & WORST Bills of 2016; Only 10 RI Lawmakers with Positive Scores

March 7, 2016

Collective-bargaining type mandates for non-union businesses headline overwhelmingly negative 2016 legislative session

Providence, RI — Headlined by two bills (H7515 & H7634) that would impose new collective-bargaining-type mandates on non-union private businesses, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today published a list of the BEST and WORST bills of the 2016 General Assembly session, including legislation that has and has not yet received a floor vote.

On a broader level, once again General Assembly lawmakers in 2016 are on track to continue a multi-year, negative trend of public policy that will reduce economic justice for Rhode Islanders. This according to the 2016 General Assembly Freedom Index, an interactive, live tool published by the nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

Although not all 2016 bills have received final ratings, the few positive pieces of legislation are massively outweighed by the much greater number of negative bills, resulting in a net negative impact, as has occurred in prior years.

Lawmakers and the public are encouraged to visit the “Legislation” tab on the 2016 Freedom Index to determine the bill rankings for the majority of bills that have been rated, but not yet voted on. The “Summary” tab displays individual lawmaker scores.

As of March 4, among the 136 bills that are preliminary listed on the Index, and with only a minority of bills receiving votes, early results in the 2016 session include:

  • (96) bills are rated negatively, with only (36) receiving a positive score, and (4) yet to receive a rating
  • The negative bills would total a (-152) net score, if all were to be voted on, while the positive bills would produce a (+59) score, resulting in a net (-93) overall General Assembly rating
  • Only 10 of 113 lawmakers can currently boast a positive individual score, consisting of 3 Democrats and 7 Republicans, with in the Senate and 7 in the House
  • The Center notes that not all bills have received final reviews and that the public should check back regularly for updated bill ratings and legislator rankings.

Additional resources are available on the main RI Freedom Index page, including a number of online and interactive tools and information for users, with links to scores from prior years:
Interactive Scorecard – from 2012 thru 2015 sort and filter scorecard data by year, chamber, party, individual legislator, category, and/or by town
2015 Legislator Scorecard – legislator by legislator scores and votes on individual bills, party index with full sort and filter
2015 Freedom Index findings – additional details and charts of 2015 results
2015 Freedom Index Report – Downloadable PDF
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About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise research and advocacy organization. The nonprofit Center is funded entirely by private tax-deductible donations and never accepts public funding. The mission of the 501-C-3 organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.