Did your legislator pass the freedom test?
This year, Hawaii state legislators were put to the financial test. With a record state shortfall, the legislature came up with all types of creative solutions.
One was to raise taxes, which the House and Senate approved in more than a dozen different votes. Another “solution” was to raid almost every special fund and use the money to fill the depleted general fund. Unfortunately, spending cuts were not high on the list.
In the link below, you will be able to see that each legislator has been scored based on his or her performance in the 2010 legislative session. Scores indicate the percentage of votes in which legislators voted in favor of limited government and greater individual liberty. While a few legislators seized the shortfall as an opportunity to make tough spending decisions, the vast majority voted to continue for the status quo—excessive spending and even higher taxes for the people of Hawaii.
The scores are based on the following six categories:
- Spending: bills that reduce (+) or increase (-) spending.
- Taxes: bills that reduce (+) or increase (-) the amount of taxes and fees paid to the state.
- Scope of government: bills that reduce (+) or increase (-) the size of government beyond its necessary function.
- Business climate: bills that improve (+) or harm (-) Hawaii’s business climate through regulatory changes.
- Individual liberty: bills that protect (+) or limit (-) individual liberties.
- Raids: bills that raid special funds in order to balance the general fund (-), or bills that creates new special funds in order to mask new or increased taxes or fees (-).