Salt Lake City, UT, March 15, 2013 — With yesterday’s legislative general session concluding, Libertas Institute announces the release of its annual Legislator Index in which the key votes of Senators and Representatives are ranked.
A total of 22 votes are used to grade legislators, based on bills that had a significant positive or negative impact on individual liberty, private property, or free enterprise. Grouping both the House and Senate together, and aggregating all the votes, the legislature received a grade of 43% for this session. (The legislature got 48% in 2012, 46% in 2011, and 62% in 2010.)
In the House of Representatives, the highest ranked legislator is Brian Greene, a Republican freshman from Pleasant Grove. He is the only legislator to receive a 100% score. He is closely followed by Representatives Marc Roberts and John Knotwell, both Republicans. The lowest ranking Representatives are Lynn Hemingway, Brian King, and Carol Spackman Moss, all Democrats.
In the Senate, Mark Madsen and Margaret Dayton, both Republicans, ranked highest at 75% and 71% respectively. Senators Luz Robles and Karen Mayne, both Democrats, are at the bottom, being ranked at 15% and 18% respectively.
“This index has proven extremely valuable to constituents throughout the state, looking to more easily understand whether their Representative or Senator defends their life, liberty, and property,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “As candidates, these legislators often claim they support the free market, individual liberty, and other important ideals. This index enables Utahns to analyze whether their record matches their rhetoric.”
The Legislator Index is interactive, allowing individuals to sort ratings based on a specific bill or the total rating. A brief analysis of each ranked bill is also provided.
Multiple firearm-related bills will be considered today in committees
Salt Lake City, UT, February 20, 2013 — Launched just a few days ago, a petition in support of several firearm-related bills has received over 1,000 signatures. Sponsored by Libertas Institute, it allows citizens to directly email legislators on the two committees which will be hearing the proposed legislation.
“Multiple state legislatures, along with the United States Congress, have seen new legislation introduced which will increasingly regulate and restrict an individual’s right to obtain, own, and use a gun,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “Utah has the fortunate opportunity to oppose this trend and support important laws that will strengthen, rather than violate, this fundamental right.”
Response to Governor Hebert’s speech provides more context
Salt Lake City, UT, January 31, 2013 — In response to the Governor’s 2013 “State of the State” address, given last night, Libertas Institute announced its own report describing and documenting the condition of Utah’s government.
“It’s common to hear flowery rhetoric and political sound bytes in speeches such as last night’s, so we thought we would offer a more complete and substantive report of how well things are going in Utah,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “We should all celebrate the successes our state has achieved, but there is significant room for improvement.”
Group aims to increase accountability for elected officials
Salt Lake City, UT, January 23, 2013 — In advance of the upcoming legislative session in Utah which begins Monday, Libertas Institute has announced two new online tools to help citizen activists monitor what their Representatives and Senators are doing.
The first tool is the Legislator Profile system which compiles contact information and social media profiles for each legislator. More importantly, it displays the score that person has received on the Legislator Index in past years, or in other words, how consistently they have voted in support of liberty.
The second tool is the Legislation Tracker which allows citizens to easily monitor the proposed bills which either support or individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise. A concise summary of each is provided, as well as a status update so individuals can monitor the status of these bills as the session progresses.
Rapidly growing list of Utahns want to see Herbert be a leader on this issue.
Salt Lake City, UT, July 10, 2012 — In one 24-hour period, Libertas Institute has collected petitions from over 500 Utahns requesting that Governor Herbert call the legislature into a special session to take on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
In light of the Supreme Court’s opinion upholding the constitutionality of this mandate, Libertas Institute argues that states should look to nullify the law and refuse to cooperate.
Libertarian-leaning think tank’s mission is to “advance the cause of liberty in Utah”
Salt Lake City, UT, July 2, 2012 — Libertas Institute (pronounced lee-bear-tuss) announces its formation as a new non-profit organization, operating in Utah. The first and only such organization promoting a libertarian approach to public policy within the state, Libertas Institute’s focus is three-fold: individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise.
Connor Boyack, longtime political activist, blogger, and author founded Libertas Institute and serves as its president. “Having promoted the message of liberty for several years, I recognized that the time had come for an institutionalized effort to move that message forward further,” said Boyack. “This public policy organization provides us the opportunity to turn principles into solutions—turning ideology into ideas that can improve the lives of every Utahn.”