We’ll be releasing the 2017 Fiscal Responsibility Index this week. While the public release is set for 2pm on Wednesday, we thought we’d share the “top-lines” with you today.

All votes included on the Index were announced in advance, and focus – as the name implies – on fiscal issues and governing philosophy. To gain a full picture of lawmakers’ governing record, we encourage Texans to utilize as many rating systems as possible, such as those from Texas Right to Life and other groups.

The 2017 Index includes 116 exemplar votes in the Texas House and 93 in the Senate.  A “passing grade” on the Index is a 70%, just like in Texas schools.

HOUSE Average:  47%
Total Passing:  27 of 150

GOP Average:  62%
Dem Average:  21%

Chair Average*:  42%
GOP Chair Average:  50%
DEM Chair Average:  24%

SENATE Average:  71%
Total Passing:  20 of 31

GOP Average:  88%
Dem Average:  42%

Chair Average*:  70%
GOP Chair Average:  87%
DEM Chair Average:  45%

Most conservative reforms never received a vote on the House floor except as amendments because House Speaker Joe Straus appointed the most liberal Republican committee chairmen possible. Under Straus, committee chairs have served as a barrier blocking conservative reforms from getting to the House floor.

Compare that to the Texas Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed committee chairs whose values and principles reflected those of the Senate… and Texas taxpayers.

As we have witnessed time after time, leadership is the difference. Passing conservative reforms isn’t a matter of time; it’s a reflection of governing will. The leadership in the Texas Senate had it; the Texas House leadership did not.

On Wednesday you’ll see if your lawmaker was part of the problem… or a champion for taxpayers.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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