The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona released its 2021 scorecard rating Arizona legislators this session, with just two legislators receiving perfect scores — and one of them actually scored 102 due to bonus points. Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) received an extra two points for his efforts on SCR 1001, a Senate Concurrent Resolution to terminate Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of emergency on COVID-19. The resolution was highly critical of Ducey, observing that “Governor Ducey has subjected individual citizens to criminal sanctions for noncompliance with the stay-at-home orders.” It did not make it through the legislature.
Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, was the only representative to receive a perfect 100. Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) received the Rookie of the Year award as the highest-scoring freshman legislator, with 94. Petersen, Bolick, and Parker were among seven legislators to receive perfect scores earlier this month from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for their voting.
A bill that tripped up several Republicans was HB 2321, which “appropriates $125 million in corporate welfare to Intel Corporation, via a tax credit,” according to the RLCAZ. Ducey signed it into law. Another bill that some Republicans were dinged for voting yes on was SB 1124, which, described by RLCAZ, “Gives corporate welfare (tax credits) to businesses who build low income housing. Also includes the Angel Investment Tax Credit carve out for wealthy investors.” Ducey also signed it into law.
The Republican Liberty Caucus has libertarian leanings, so some bills affected a few conservatives more negatively than more libertarian-minded Republicans. These included SB 1486, which decriminalizes fentanyl drug testing kits. It was signed into law by Ducey. Another one that split legislators down similar lines was SB 1064. It would reduce the amount of time nonviolent offenders serve in prison based on good behavior and other factors, but was not signed by Ducey.
Legislators received bonus points or penalties for key committee votes or for cosponsoring certain bills. Three Republican legislators were penalized twice, for a total of negative four points each: Rep. Frank Carroll (R-Peoria), John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills), and David Livingston (R-Peoria).
The lowest scoring Republicans were Sen. Paul Boyer (R-Phoenix) with 62 and Rep. David Cook (R-Globe) at 68. Boyer angered fellow Republicans recently with his objections to the Maricopa County ballot audit. Notably, he scored the second-lowest of Republican legislators in the AFEC’s ratings, and only Rep. TJ Shope (R-Florence) was higher.
The highest scoring Democrats were Rep. Melody Hernandez (D-Tempe) with a 41 and Sen. Juan Mendez (D-Tempe) with a 28. The lowest scoring Democrats were Rep. Jennifer Pawlik (D-Chandler) with a 13 and Sen. Martin Quezada (D-Phoenix) with a 14.
The RLCAZ ranks legislators in four areas: 1) Fiscal policy, taxes, and spending, 2) economic freedom, and 3) individual liberty and criminal justice, and 4) education.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at the Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Warren Petersen” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 and photo “Shawnna Bolick” by Marcus Huey CC BY-SA 4.0.