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Citizen Outreach releases 2011 legislative ratings



Citizen Outreach has released the results of its ratings of the 76th Nevada Legislature. The ratings were produced in order to provide a quick and informative way to let citizens know how their legislators are voting as well as whether these elected officials are keeping campaign promises.

For a complete summary and links to all relevant data see the Executive Summary.

This year’s biennial legislative session saw 1,114 bills or resolutions introduced; only those dealing with government regulations, taxes/fees and individual liberty were rated. The list of 62 rated bills and the reasons for including these bills in the process is posted online.

David Mansdoerfer, director of legislative affairs at Citizen Outreach, said, “In analyzing the results, Ed Goedhart received the top score in the Assembly and Elizabeth Halseth and Don Gustavson received the top scores in the Senate.”

Eight of the Assembly Democrats, including Speaker John Oceguera, were rated at 0 percent. Although none of the senators were rated that low, two did fare only slightly better, with 1.7 percent – Shirley Breeden and Valerie Wiener.

Citizen Outreach opted to use the same five criteria as the House Republican Study Committee when determining whether to support or oppose a bill in Congress: less government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, individual freedom and stronger families.

Scoring was based on how the legislators voted; Citizen Outreach gave 1 point for each bill in which they voted that agreed with Citizen Outreach’s position and 0 points if they voted in opposition. Additionally, legislators gained a point for having signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

According to Mansdoerfer, AB561 and SB231 were rated twice due to their importance. AB561, which extended the $600 million temporary tax and was scheduled to sunset in June of 2011, represented a failed promise and a hit on the pocketbook of Nevada residents. SB231, which authorized a person who holds a permit to carry a concealed firearm while on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education, restored the 2nd Amendment right to Nevada students and teachers.

For more information about the rating process, please see Nevada News and Views 2011 Legislative Report Card. For a listing of the ratings, please see Ratings of the 2011 Nevada Legislature.

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