The mission of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is to illuminate the actions of government, educate and equip citizens to effectively advocate for pro-taxpayer reforms, and hold lawmakers accountable for their actions. Taxpayers should demand their interests, not those of elected officials, lobbyists, or bureaucrats, must come first in the Lone Star State.
It is in fulfilling that mission that we are focused on delivering real, relevant, and actionable information about our state’s government and those in elected office to the taxpayers they’re charged with serving.
The Fiscal Responsibility Index
For more than 10 years (and six sessions) TFR has produced the Fiscal Responsibility Index, a tool we use to measure lawmakers within the Texas Legislature’s 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. However, lawmakers must sign on to such legislation ahead of the bill filing deadline in order to receive credit.
At the end of each session, we tabulate the scores and communicate them to their constituents so they can be better informed.
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.
The Fiscal Responsibility Index can be viewed here.
Educating and Equipping Texans Across Texas
While the Texas Legislature meets almost exclusively in the Texas Capitol in Austin, the 29 million citizens who are governed and taxed by the laws passed are dispersed across the Lone Star State.
To serve these Texans, we seek to engage with them digitally through our website and when possible travel the state speaking to groups about what’s going on in Austin and local governments as well as what they can do to most effectively hold their lawmakers accountable.
Do you have a question about a policy or issue we could help explain? Would you like for us to come speak to your group?
If so, please reach out to us through our contact page here.