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Did Your Legislator Pass the Freedom Test?

Which Hawaii state legislators toed the party line this session? Who opted for some of the largest tax increases in state history? Who voted in favor of big government and against small businesses? These answers and more can be found in the second annual Hawaii Legislative Scorecard, just released by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. The new report ranks state legislators based on their commitment to upholding freedom and liberty during the 2009 legislative session.

“The new Legislative Scorecard, like HawaiiVotes.org, helps educate Hawaii’s voters by providing some transparency as to how our state legislators vote on the most vital issues facing our state,” explains Jamie Story, the Institute’s president. “Sadly, we don’t see much improvement over last year with only seven out of 76 legislators receiving a passing grade and only nine scoring higher than 50%. However, we would like to congratulate Representative Lynn Finnegan and Senator Sam Slom for achieving the highest scores in their respective chambers. Senator Slom, in particular, scored a commendable 91 percent!”

Lead author Gia Coluccio observed, “It’s often difficult for Hawaii residents to keep track of how well lawmakers are representing them in the legislature. This scorecard allows voters to see how their elected officials are performing in areas that voters really care about, such as taxes and healthcare. Our goal is to help people stay informed so that lawmakers may be held accountable for their votes.”

The 2009 Scorecard, which is compiled from voting records publicly available at HawaiiVotes.org, ranks state legislators according to their votes in vital categories including Healthcare, Taxes, Business Regulation and the Scope of Government. The scorecard appendix also features descriptions of the bills selected for scoring in each of the categories.