The Kansas Economic Freedom Index examines votes made by members of the Kansas Legislature based on the impact the proposed legislation has on the free market and the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government. Based on their votes, legislators earn scores that illuminate their support of — or opposition to — these principles of economic freedom.
The Kansas Economic Freedom Index is produced by Americans for Prosperity–Kansas, Kansas Policy Institute, and Voice for Liberty in Wichita. It is intended to provide educational information to the public about broad economic issues that are important to the citizens of our State. The Index is the product of nonpartisan analysis, study, and research and is not intended to directly or indirectly endorse or oppose any candidate for public office. Each partner organization operates independently and has its own distinct voice in advocating for free markets and supporting the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government.
My primary site for the Index is Kansas Economic Freedom Index.
A press release from Kansas Policy Institute follows.
Coalition Grades Kansas Legislators’ Support of Economic Freedom
Americans for Prosperity–Kansas, Kansas Policy Institute, and Voice for Liberty in Wichita Partner to Inform Citizens
Wichita — July 12, 2012 — A new scorecard released today takes a broad look at voting records and establishes how supportive state legislators were of economic freedom, limited government and individual liberty in the 2012 legislative session. The 2012 Kansas Economic Freedom Index is produced by Americans for Prosperity–Kansas, Voice for Liberty in Wichita, and Kansas Policy Institute.
The Index is intended to provide educational information to the public about broad economic issues that are important to the citizens of our State. It is the product of nonpartisan analysis, study, and research and is not intended to directly or indirectly endorse or oppose any candidate for public office.
The organizations that produced this first annual edition of the Kansas Economic Freedom Index do so in the belief that an informed citizenry is an essential element of maintaining a free society. Having a deeper understanding of how legislation impacts economic freedom and the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government allows citizens to better understand the known and often unknown consequences of legislative issues. The social and economic benefits of economic freedom have been widely studied by groups such as the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
“Economic freedom is not a partisan issue,” said KPI president Dave Trabert. “Indeed, the 2012 Kansas Economic Freedom Index shows that quite clearly. There were 32 Republicans and 8 Democrats in the 2012 Senate; the House had 92 Republicans and 33 Democrats. Those counts would produce fairly strong results one way or the other if economic freedom was a partisan issue, but instead, the overall score of both chambers is very near neutral.”
The Index is based on 24 House and 20 Senate votes. A vote in support of individual liberty, limited government and free markets received positive points; a vote opposed received negative points. Votes of Present or Not Voting (absent) were awarded zero points. A full list of the bills tracked and scores of the House and Senate are available at www.KansasPolicy.org/EconomicFreedomIndex.
A positive cumulative score indicates that a legislator generally supported economic freedom, while a negative cumulative score indicates that a legislator generally opposed economic freedom. At the same time, the magnitude of both positive and negative scores generally indicates the degree to which a given legislator is supportive or opposed to economic freedom. A score of zero indicates that a legislator was generally neutral on economic freedom. The cumulative score only pertains to the specific votes included in the Kansas Economic Freedom Index and should not be interpreted otherwise. A different set of issues and/or a different set of circumstances could result in different cumulative scores.
Bob Weeks, of Voice for Liberty in Wichita, started a version of this index after the 2010 legislative session and had this to say, “The value of a voting index is that it shines light on how lawmakers vote on important economic issues. It’s often hard for citizens to get a full understanding of the implications of a bill so this Index will hopefully provide a deeper understanding of economic freedom.”
Derrick Sontag of Americans for Prosperity–Kansas offered, “The Kansas Economic Freedom Index is an important tool for Kansans who want to know if their state legislators follow through with promises to lower taxes, control government spending and protect individual liberties. This comprehensive measurement does a good job showing which legislators voted against key issues of limited government, free market ideals. Kansans clearly want a smaller, more efficient government and Kansas families and business owners deserve to know how legislators’ actions impact their economic freedom and individual liberty.”