2019 Freedom Index Shows Massive Infringement on Rights
Representative Sherry Roberts scores highest. No Democrat lawmaker scores above zero.
Providence, RI — As has been the case throughout the world’s recent history, and as directly implied by its name, the more freedoms afforded to citizens, the more prosperity will result, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today released its 2019 Freedom Index & Legislator Scorecard.
The Freedom Index measures whether or not state lawmakers voted to preserve or erode our liberties on 95 pieces of legislation that received a floor vote in either chamber.
Overall, 66 bills were rated negatively, with just 29 receiving a plus rating. The RI Senate, collectively, was the biggest violator of economic, individual, and constitutional liberties with a dismal score of (-47.98) while the House score of (-36.34) was almost as intrusive.
“As further evidence as to why the Ocean State consistently ranks in the bottom-10 in so many critical national indexes that measure prosperity – and why so many of our family and friends are leaving for greener pastures – the 2019 General Assembly once again executed a legislative assault on the freedoms and liberties of Rhode Island families and businesses,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse.
Among party caucuses:
- the 66 House Democrats scored a negative (-47.22) while their 9 GOP counterparts scored a positive (+44.61)
- the 33 Senate Democrats scored a negative (-59.63) while their 5 GOP counterparts scored a positive (+28.90)
Individually, only 12 lawmakers, all Republicans, scored above zero on the index, where individual scores could range from (+101) to (-101). Among the highest and lowest ranking lawmakers:
- the highest freedom index score in the entire General Assembly was achieved by Representative Sherry Roberts (+66.5), followed by David Place (+61.0). Meanwhile Elaine Morgan (+53.5) was the highest ranking Senator, followed by Jessica DeLaCruz (+43)
- the worst violator of liberty was Senator Erin Lynch (-71.0), followed closely by Senator Cynthia Coyne (-70.5). The worst defenders of freedom in the House were Representatives Gregg Amore and Robert Craven (-53.3)
On the 2019 Freedom Index web-page, the interactive tables and charts can be sorted or filtered, while multiple tabs present varying breakdowns of the data. By clicking on a lawmaker’s name, viewers can see his or her detailed voting record on the rated bills.
Methodology and prior years’ scorecards and indexes can be viewed on the Center’s Freedom Index home page at RIFreedom.org/FreedomIndex.