Wyoming Liberty Index, 2014 Budget Session, 62nd Legislature

Welcome to the 2014 Wyoming Liberty Index.

The Bills

The 2014 Wyoming Liberty Index rates all bills in the House and Senate from the 2014 Budget Session, 62nd Legislature, on whether they support or inhibit liberty.

Legislators voted on 148 bills in the House and 151 bills in the Senate. Out of this total, the Liberty Index showed that 35 liberty-supporting bills passed and 56 failed. Additionally, 39 liberty-inhibiting bills passed while 75 failed.

The first observation, echoed by many legislators and observers, is that there were far too many bills introduced for a budget session. We compare the last budget session, 2012, with this one.

 20122014IncreasePercentage increase
House Bill1221795747%
House Joint Resolution135-8-62%
Senate File1071201312%
Senate Joint Resolution2200%
Total2443066225%

However, budget sessions are (or should be) abattoirs of bills; this year half died one way or another before crossover (when each house begins consideration of bills that originated in the other house). 131 bills, or 43%, made it into law.

Some good liberty bills that passed include:

The most liberty supporting bills that failed include:

The most liberty inhibiting bills that passed include:

The most liberty inhibiting bills that failed include:

There is detailed information on, and the final status of, each bill. The detailed information includes comments from the raters on why they rated the bills as they did.

The Legislators

In addition, the voting pattern of each legislator was automatically calculated and given a liberty score. The higher the score, the better the legislator's agreement with the raters. A high score simply reflects a high level of aye votes on liberty-supporting bills and nay votes on liberty-inhibiting bills. Scores are only indicators of ordering, and arithmetic manipulations are meaningless. The percentage is simply out of the range from highest score (100%) to lowest (0%). Because the two houses vote on different bills, scores in the two houses are not comparable.

The Top Dozen liberty-supporting members in the House were (in order) Representatives Kendell Kroeker, David Miller, Marti Halverson, Tom Reeder, Bunky Loucks, Allen Jaggi, Mark Baker, Gerald Gay, Stephen Watt, Lynn Hutchings, and Lloyd Larsen and Nathan Winters tied for 11th. Following on his success last year, Rep. Kroeker wins the title of "Most Liberty-Friendly Member of the House for 2014", and by a wide margin.

The House Needs Improvement Club consists of those members who most consistently voted to limit freedom. They are (in order from least bad to worst) Representatives John Eklund and John Patton (tied for 50th), Glenn Moniz, Eric Barlow, Bob Nicholas, Ken Esquibel, Donald Burkhart, Jr, Elaine Harvey, W. Patrick Goggles, James Byrd, Steve Harshman, and, to our surprise, "Dr. No". Since "Dr. No" is a construct, Rep. Harshman has earned the title of "Most Liberty-Hostile Member of the House for 2014".

The top performing House Democrat is Mary Throne, ranked 16th. Last year, Rep. Throne earned the title of "Most Liberty-Hostile Member of the House for 2013". The top performing Republican is once again Kendell Kroeker.

The Top Half-Dozen liberty-supporting members in the Senate were (in order) Senators Cale Case, Curt Meier, Larry Hicks, Leland Christensen, Stan Cooper, and Bruce Burns. Once again, and for as long as we have been rating the Senate, Senator Cale Case has come out on top; he earns the title of the "Most Liberty-Friendly Member of the Senate for 2014" by a substantial margin. Kudos yet again to Senator Case!

The Senate Needs Improvement Club are those members who most consistently voted to limit freedom. They are (in order from least bad to worst)) Senators Fred Emerich, R. Ray Peterson, Chris Rothfuss, and "Dr. No" (all tied for 23rd) Michael Von Flatern, John Hastert and Charles Scott (tied for 28th, Jim L. Anderson (SD28), and Bernadine Craft. Bernadine Craft has earned the title of "Most Liberty-Hostile Member of the Senate for 2014".

Among Senate Democrats, Floyd Esquibel did best, ranking at 21. Cale Case, as usual, is the top Republican performer.

There is detailed information on each legislator.

The 2014 Wyoming House Leadership

RepresentativeTitleRankRD
Rosie BergerHouse Speaker Pro Tempore2525 
Kermit BrownHouse Majority Floor Leader2121 
James ByrdHouse Minority Whip59 59
Cathy ConnollyHouse Minority Caucus Chairman39 39
Thomas LubnauSpeaker of the House3434 
Tim StubsonHouse Majority Whip4949 
Mary ThroneHouse Minority Floor Leader16 16
Average 3532.2538

The 2014 Wyoming House Index

This table shows the weighted liberty score and weighted liberty percentage for each representative.

NameParDistDistrict LocationWeighted ScoreWeighted PercentWeighted Rank
Kendell KroekerR35Natrona59.5100%1
David MillerR55Fremont50.587%2
Marti HalversonR22Lincoln/Sublette/Teton4579%3
Tom ReederR58Natrona4478%4
Bunky LoucksR59Natrona42.576%5
Allen JaggiR19Uinta4072%6
Mark BakerR48Sweetwater3565%7
Gerald GayR36Natrona3464%8
Stephen WattR17Sweetwater30.559%9
Lynn HutchingsR42Laramie2754%10
Lloyd LarsenR54Fremont26.553%11
Nathan WintersR28Big Horn/Hot Springs/Fremont/Park26.553%11
Hans HuntR2Niobrara/Weston/Goshen23.549%13
Mike GreearR27Big Horn/Washakie2348%14
Kathy ColemanR30Sheridan1942%15
Matthias GreeneR45Albany1841%16
Mary ThroneD11Laramie1841%16
Troy MaderR52Campbell17.540%18
Mark SemlekR1Crook/Weston1739%19
Robert McKimR21Lincoln16.539%20
Kermit BrownR14Albany1536%21
Garry PiiparinenR49Uinta14.536%22
Matt TeetersR5Goshen1435%23
Stan BlakeD39Sweetwater12.533%24
Rosie BergerR51Sheridan1232%25
Albert SommersR20Sublette1232%25
Sue WilsonR7Laramie1232%25
Samuel KroneR24Park11.531%28
David BlevinsR25Park1131%29
Richard CannadyR6Converse1131%29
Ruth PetroffR16Teton1131%29
Thomas LockhartR57Natrona10.530%32
Michael MaddenR40Johnson/Sheridan10.530%32
Dan KirkbrideR4Platte/Converse9.529%34
Thomas LubnauR31Campbell9.529%34
Norine KasperikR32Campbell928%36
David ZwonitzerR9Laramie8.527%37
Gregg BlikreR53Campbell826%38
Cathy ConnollyD13Albany725%39
Kathy DavisonR18Lincoln/Sweetwater/Uinta6.524%40
Jerry PaxtonR47Carbon/Albany/Sweetwater6.524%40
Rita CampbellR34Fremont624%42
Lee FilerD12Laramie624%42
David NorthrupR50Park624%42
Dan ZwonitzerR43Laramie624%42
Keith GingeryR23Teton5.523%46
Tom WaltersR38Natrona5.523%46
John FreemanD60Sweetwater4.521%48
Tim StubsonR56Natrona421%49
John EklundR10Laramie/Goshen3.520%50
John PattonR29Sheridan3.520%50
Glenn MonizR46Albany319%52
Eric BarlowR3Campbell/Converse1.517%53
Bob NicholasR8Laramie116%54
Ken EsquibelD41Laramie-114%55
Donald Burkhart, JrR15Carbon-3.510%56
Elaine HarveyR26Big Horn/Park-4.59%57
W. Patrick GogglesD33Fremont-5.57%58
James ByrdD44Laramie-66%59
Steve HarshmanR37Natrona-9.51%60
"Dr. No"   -10.50%61

The 2014 Wyoming Senate Leadership

SenatorTitleRankRD
Eli BeboutSenate Vice President1212
Bernadine CraftSenate Minority Whip3131
John HastertSenate Minority Caucus Chairman2828
Phil NicholasSenate Majority Floor Leader1414
Tony RossPresident of the Senate1616
Chris RothfussSenate Minority Floor Leader2323
Average 20.6671423.333

The 2014 Wyoming Senate Index

This table shows the weighted liberty score and weighted liberty percentage for each senator.

NameParDistDistrict LocationWeighted ScoreWeighted PercentWeighted Rank
Cale CaseR25Fremont60.5100%1
Curt MeierR3Goshen/Niobrara/Weston26.553%2
Larry HicksR11Albany/Carbon/Sweetwater2652%3
Leland ChristensenR17Teton16.539%4
Stan CooperR14Lincoln/Sublette/Sweetwater/Uinta1436%5
Bruce BurnsR21Sheridan13.535%6
Jim D. Anderson (SD02)R2Converse/Platte12.534%7
John HinesR23Campbell/Converse1132%8
Leslie NuttingR7Laramie929%9
Henry H.R. "Hank" CoeR18Park8.528%10
Ogden DriskillR1Crook/Campbell/Weston8.528%10
Eli BeboutR26Fremont828%12
Gerald GeisR20Big Horn/Fremont/Hot Springs/Park/Washakie726%13
Phil NicholasR10Albany6.526%14
Dan DockstaderR16Lincoln/Sublette/Teton5.524%15
Tony RossR4Laramie523%16
Drew PerkinsR29Natrona219%17
Bill LandenR27Natrona118%18
Paul BarnardR15Uinta0.517%19
Wayne JohnsonR6Laramie/Goshen-0.516%20
Floyd EsquibelD8Laramie-115%21
John SchifferR22Sheridan/Johnson-312%22
Fred EmerichR5Laramie-3.512%23
R. Ray PetersonR19Big Horn/Park-3.512%23
Chris RothfussD9Albany-3.512%23
"Dr. No"   -3.512%23
Michael Von FlaternR24Campbell-411%27
John HastertD13Sweetwater-510%28
Charles ScottR30Natrona-510%28
Jim L. Anderson (SD28)R28Natrona-8.55%30
Bernadine CraftD12Sweetwater-120%31

Excused, Absent and Conflicts

Since 2013, we have provided Excused, Absent and Conflict totals for each member on the Results tab of the spreadsheet. These are totals of third reading votes (not days) for which the member was excused, absent or had a conflict.

The House, with 199 excused votes, far outstrips the Senate, with 12, even factoring in the larger size of the House. Leading the House are Thomas Lockhart, with 37 excused absences, and Steve Harshman, with 34.

Being a leader in this field is not necessarily a bad thing. Since a failure to vote is often equivalent to a no vote, these absences may have improved these legislators' scores.

More Information

The 2014 Index background information is available:

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