A Letter to Legislators

January 13, 2021
TFR Staff
87th Legislative Session

After lawmakers were sworn in, TFR sent the following message to every member of the Texas Legislature congratulating them on their election and informing them about the Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Dear Legislator,

Congratulations on your election to the Texas Legislature! 

Regardless of whether you are Republican or Democrat, a returning lawmaker or a newly-elected legislator, please know we earnestly appreciate the sacrifice you’ve made to engage in public service on behalf of your fellow Texans.

As you’re likely already aware, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is an independent educational non-profit organization seeking to illuminate the actions of government, educate and equip citizens to effectively advocate for pro-taxpayer reforms, and hold lawmakers accountable for their actions. 

For more than 10 years (and six sessions) we’ve produced the Fiscal Responsibility Index, a tool we use to measure legislators’ commitment to fiscal responsibility and limited government. 

Though legislators take thousands of votes during the session, only a small percentage of them highlight this commitment. We narrow the votes down to about 100 for which we believe there was a clear choice between limited and bloated government.

As we have done in the past, ratings will be calculated based only on the votes actually taken by each member, including any clarifying statements placed in the Journals. Absences will be noted, but will not positively or negatively affect the rating.

In both chambers, slight weighting is given to budget amendment and tax-related votes. Authoring and co-authoring legislation in support of our legislative priorities that receive an up-or-down vote on the floor is positively included in the rating as extra credit. Note: You must be signed on as a co-author before the bill filing deadline to receive extra credit.

You, your staff, and everyday Texans can subscribe to email alerts and view our full list of notices of upcoming votes under consideration for the Index at

At the end of the session, we’ll tabulate your score based on one thing and one thing alone: your voting record. We’ll then communicate it—good or bad— to your constituents.

While no “scorecard” tells the whole story about a legislator, we’ve found citizens across Texas appreciate our method of cutting through the clutter and presenting how their lawmaker voted on key issues in a manageable way where they are free to agree (or disagree) with our view.

Thank you again for stepping forward to serve the citizens of our great state.


For Texas!