Alexandria, VA—The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings of the 2017 meeting of the North Carolina General Assembly. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and illustrate how both chambers of the legislature and individual members prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect North Carolinians.
ACUF reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.
North Carolina legislators took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session. In one or both chambers, they voted to:
*protect the right to be a non-union employee by eliminating automatic payroll deductions for union dues collection;
*pass a budget that cuts taxes, expands school choice, and creates an education savings account program for children with special needs;
*protect free speech on campus from censorship by university officials and anyone who interferes with free speech rights;
*withhold funds from local governments and universities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities; and
*strictly limit eminent domain to public use and create provisions to ensure just compensation.
“North Carolina lawmakers attempted to curb illegal immigration, protected workers’ paychecks from predatory union bosses, and created penalties for university officials who violate students’ First Amendment rights,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “It’s no surprise with commonsense conservative reforms like these that North Carolina ranked in the top 10 most conservative legislatures in the nation for 2017.”
ACUF issues awards to recognize members who vote with ACUF’s position at least 80 percent of the time. This session, those members included:
Award for Conservative Excellence (90%-100%):
Sens. Bishop, Dunn, Harrington, Hise, Lee, Tarte and Tucker; and Reps. Arp, Blust, Bradford, Bumgardner, Cleveland, Collins, Conrad, Elmore, Hall, De., Hall, K., Hastings, Hurley, Jordan, McNeill, Millis, Pittman, Presnell, Saine, Speciale, Stevens, Strickland and Warren.
Award for Conservative Achievement (80%-89%):
Sens. Alexander, Ballard, Barefoot, Berger, Britt, Brock, Brown, Cook, Curtis, Davis, J., Edwards, Gunn, Horner, Jackson, B., Krawiec, McInnis, Meredith, Newton, Pate, Rabin, Rabon, Sanderson, Tillman, Wade and Wells; and Reps. Adams, Bell, J., Boles, Boswell, Brawley, Brody, Burr, Clampitt, Corbin, Davis, Dixon, Dollar, Dulin, Faircloth, Ford, Fraley, Grange, Hardister, Horn, Howard, Johnson, Jones Be., Lambeth, Lewis, Malone, Martin, S., McElraft, Moore, T., Murphy, Potts, Riddell, Rogers, Ross, Sauls, Setzer, Shepard, Stone, Szoka, Torbett, Turner, R., Watford, White, Williams, Yarborough and Zachary.
Members who scored 10 percent or less resisted commonsense conservative reforms and qualified for ACUF’s “Coalition of the Radical Left.” This session, those members included:
Sens. Chaudhuri, Davis, D., Foushee and Robinson; and Reps. Autry, Butler and Fisher.
House Republicans improved dramatically compared to last session, with their average score increasing 25 points (59 percent to 84 percent). Senate Republicans also improved upon last session, registering a three-point gain (79 percent to 82 points). Democrats in the Senate and House received scores within five points of their 2016 marks, earning 23 percent and 34 percent, respectively.