On the 140th day of the legislative session, the last day for work to be completed under Texas’ constitution, we generally start gearing up for the release of the Fiscal Responsibility Index, which measures lawmakers’ records on fiscal and governance issues.

Not this year. Not today. Not on this Sine Die.

Here are some top-line takeaways of the Index, as it stands right now:

  • The average rating (Republicans and Democrats) in the Senate is a 71. The average rating in the House is a 46.
  • Every Republican member of the Senate has a passing grade, but only 21 of the 94 House Republicans are passing.
  • Democrats in the House have an average rating of 17, while Senate Democrats are averaging a 50.

But the session isn’t ending, because the work of Texas hasn’t been completed by the failed leadership of the Texas House. More on that in a moment…


These top-line ratings demonstrate the difference leadership makes. In the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has moved the chamber in a responsible, reform-focused direction. In the House, the Democrat-backed liberal Republican Speaker – Joe Straus – continues to make a mockery of conservative reforms.


Because of the House’s failed leadership, Texas is headed for a “special” session to see if the House can get their act together.

So, as we await word on a special session, the Fiscal Responsibility Index is being held… for the moment. Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier today he would make an announcement about a special session later this week.

We’ll decide then whether to hold the Index so we can include special session issues, or go ahead release the results.


Either way, we know right now just from those top-line numbers, that serious change is needed in the Texas House. Rather than a crony crew opposing reforms, we need a conservative majority who will fight for Texans.

Help us get ready for the much-needed House cleaning by making a contribution to the Empower Texans PAC. The Accountability Season is officially underway.

The regular session ends today. The Senate goes home with a clean conscience and a solid record of results. Members of the Texas House, on the other hand, go home with the shame of knowing their chamber didn’t deliver on the promises made to voters and taxpayers.

All legislators must go home knowing not only that citizens are ready to hold them accountable but that we’re equipping voters with the tools necessary to do so.

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."