For many in politically diverse Florida, this may not be good news: But Republicans in the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature got more conservative this election year.
The American Conservative Union’s ratings for Florida lawmakers found that Republicans in Tallahassee scored an average 85.5 out of 100 this year — compared with 70 in 2015.
The ACU rated lawmakers on 15 bills this year — covering such issues as fracking, guns, abortion, Planned Parenthood funding, school choice and tax cuts.
While Republicans were boosting their performance in the eyes of conservatives, House Democrats averaged a 20 percent rating; Senate Democrats a 33 percent mark. Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami Beach, who is leaving office, was the highest ranking legislative Democrat in the ACU’s view — gaining a 57 percent rating.
“The 2016 session of the Florida legislature continued to make strides in implementing conservative principles,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp.
But it wasn’t all perfect for conservatives.
Schlapp added, “Unfortunately, the Senate failed to take up House-passed bills to increase energy production and ease restrictions on the carrying of firearms.”