Speaking at a gathering of legislators and policy experts from multiple states recently, I was asked why the Republican-dominated Kansas legislature raised taxes last year instead of making government more efficient. In response, I asked, “What’s a Republican?” We all had a good chuckle, but the sad truth is that party labels don’t mean much anymore – and haven’t for a very long time. Kansas legislators’ 2018 voting history on display in the Kansas Freedom Index makes this abundantly clear. Of the 85 Republicans (shown in red below) in the House of Representatives, 19 voted for freedom-related issues at least 75 percent of the time but six of the seven lowest scores also belonged to Republicans. And in the Senate, one Democrat scored better than nine Republicans.
An informed citizenry is an essential element of maintaining a free society, so we created the Kansas Freedom Index to educate citizens on legislative actions that affect economic freedom, education freedom and the constitutional principles of limited government and person freedom. The Freedom Index is intended to provide educational information to the public about broad economic and education issues that are important to the citizens of our State. It is the product of nonpartisan analysis, study, and research and is not intended to directly or indirectly endorse or oppose any candidate for public office.
Our Voter Issue Guide also provides background on the key economic and educational issues facing Kansans:
- Closing a $3.7 billion budget shortfall over the next four years.
- Improving low student achievement levels.
- Getting schools to spend money more efficiently and effectively.
- Stopping four decades of economic stagnation.
- Amending the constitution to prevent courts from setting school funding levels.
Providing factual information about the challenges facing our state and showing how legislators voted on key issues in the past are just two of the ways we make it possible for citizens to reach their own informed decisions.