Legislative scorecard gives Republicans who voted against LEARNS low marks



(The Center Square) – Two Arkansas Republican lawmakers broke from the pack more often than others during the latest legislative session, according to an annual report that tracks how legislators vote.

Representatives Jim Wooten, R-Beebe, and Jimmy Hickey, Jr., R-Texarkana, received the lowest scores among Republican lawmakers in Americans for Prosperity Arkansas’ Annual Legislative Scorecard. Both voted against the LEARNS Act, which included universal school choice and teacher salary increases.

Among the 13 bills in the scorecard, Wooten voted against a bill requiring local elections to be held on traditional primary or general election dates.

The organization focuses on issues related to economic progress, health care, education, criminal justice, free speech and immigration.

“All thirteen of the bills scored in our report were signed and enacted into law. This is a huge win for our grassroots supporters who mobilized activity around key votes that ensure every Arkansan can live in a more free and prosperous community,” said AFP-AR State Director Ryan Norris.

Similarly, Hickey voted against the LEARNS Act as well as House Bill 1307, which prohibits public entities from investing allocated money based on political agendas rather than on earning the best returns for investors, according to the report.

Wooten and Hickey were among only 11 Republicans who did not receive a perfect score. The other nine were Sens. Alan Clark, Jonathan Dismang, Elizabeth English, and Bryan King and Reps. Bruce Cozart, Hope Duke, RJ Hawk, Julie Mayberry and Jeff Wardlaw. The remaining 109 conservative legislators received scores of 100, which means they voted in favor of all 13 bills on the scorecard.

However, none of the Democratic lawmakers received a perfect score, and only two received scores in the 90’s.

The top-scoring Democrat was Rep. Jay Richardson, D-Fort Smith, with a score of 94, and Rep. Ashley Hudson, D-Little Rock, with a score of 92.

Among the 13 bills tracked on the scorecard, Richardson only voted against the LEARNS Act. However, he voted “absent” on three of the other bills.

Hudson voted against the LEARNS Act and House Bill 1307.

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