Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2013 Edition

by Bob Weeks on September 30, 2013

For 2013 the Kansas Economic Freedom Index was produced by Kansas Policy Institute. It may be found here.

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Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 Edition

by Bob Weeks on July 12, 2012

The Kansas Economic Freedom Index examines votes made by members of the Kansas Legislature based on the impact the proposed legislation has on the free market and the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government. Based on their votes, legislators earn scores that illuminate their support of — or opposition to — these principles of economic freedom.

The Kansas Economic Freedom Index is produced by Americans for Prosperity–Kansas, Kansas Policy Institute, and Voice for Liberty in Wichita. It is intended to provide educational information to the public about broad economic issues that are important to the citizens of our State. The Index is the product of nonpartisan analysis, study, and research and is not intended to directly or indirectly endorse or oppose any candidate for public office. Each partner organization operates independently and has its own distinct voice in advocating for free markets and supporting the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government.

A press release announcing the release of the Index is Coalition Grades Kansas Legislators’ Support of Economic Freedom.

The explanation as to how the Kansas Economic Freedom Index is calculated is at Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012 Edition. For more about the importance of economic freedom, see The importance of economic freedom. Another important resource on economic freedom is EconomicFreedom.org, where we can learn that “Economic freedom is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life. It’s the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ rights to do the same.”

The Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012 Edition

The Kansas Economic Freedom Index consists of a number of documents that explain the bills and votes that are included, the economic freedom criteria that apply to each vote, the way each member of the Kansas Legislature voted, and the score earned by each member. The data that forms the index comes primarily from KanFocus, with some from the Kansas Legislature website. Most documents are presented as Adobe Acrobat pdf files, an industry standard method of distributing documents. A few documents are presented as Microsoft Excel 2007 spreadsheets for ease of use. If your computer is not able to open these files, you can download a free Excel Viewer from Microsoft.

For many people, the following tables that rank legislators by their economic freedom score or present legislators and scores alphabetically are the easiest way to learn which legislators support the principles of economic freedom.

Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012, Senate members by score
Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012, Senate members alphabetically
Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012, House members by score
Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2012, House members alphabetically

There is also a single pdf document that describes the methodology used, along with the tables of legislators and scores at Complete PDF version of the 2012 Kansas Economic Freedom Index .

Additional files that hold more information about the included bills, votes for each bill, and votes cast by each member follow.

Kansas Economic Freedom Index included votes

Pdf files that hold summaries of the bills included in the Kansas Economic Freedom Index and the economic freedom criteria that apply are Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 Senate Bills Summary and Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 House Bills Summary.

Pdf files that hold bills and members’ votes are Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 Senate Bills and Votes and Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 House Bills and Votes.

Pdf files for individual bills and votes cast are below:

House SB 353: Board of Barbering; powers and duties; fees; licensure.
House S Sub for HB 2077: Creating the Professional Employer Organization Registration Act.
House S Sub for HB 2382: STAR Bonds, extending the sunset date.
House S Sub for HB 2117: Income tax reform.
House Senate Sub. for Sub. for HB 2333: Enacting the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Act of 2014.
House H Sub for SB 28: Adequacy of state provision for finance of educational interests of the state.
House HB 2631: Dental care availability and access.
House SB 406: Amending the Kansas Storage Tank act and the underground storage tank fund.
House H Sub for SB 177: Taxation; income and privilege tax rates; income tax deductions and credits and income determination; distribution of sales and use tax revenue; and severance tax exemptions.
House Sub for HB 2634: Excellence in education; teacher certification; school employee performance and evaluation; professional development.
House S Sub for HB 2526: Energy; relating to the state corporation commission, powers and duties.
House H Sub for SB 40: Concerning the Kansas housing loan deposit program; relating to the building or rehabilitation of adult care homes.
House H Sub for SB 79: Concerning the protection of rights granted under the constitution.
House HR 6032: Resolution opposing and exposing the radical nature of United Nations Agenda 21.
House HB 2767: Schools; enacting the Kansas Education Liberty Program Act; providing for educational scholarships; authorizing a tax credit.
House HCR 5006: State constitutional amendment concerning appropriations of money and expenditure of funds appropriated by law by the legislative branch, saying executive and judicial branches have no authority to direct the legislative branch to make any appropriation.
House HCR 5007: Constitutional amendment to preserve right to choose health care services and participate in health insurance plan.
House HB 2520: Interstate Health Care Compact.
House HB 2743: Authorize the Abstracter’s Board of Examiners to increase annual fee.
House SB 322: Extend for one fiscal year the judicial surcharge; adds and increases other fees.
House HB 2569: Legislative review of exceptions to disclosure of public records.
House Sub for HB 2689: Alcoholic beverages; tasting samples; microdistilleries; happy hours; public venue licenses; farm wineries; other.
House HB 2515: Appropriations for FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015, and FY 2016 for various state agencies; Omnibus Appropriation Act and omnibus reconciliation spending limit bill; capital improvement projects; claims against the state.
House H Sub for SB 59: Classification of certain commercial and industrial machinery and equipment for purposes of property taxation.
Senate SB 353: Board of Barbering; powers and duties; fees; licensure.
Senate S Sub for HB 2077: Creating the Professional Employer Organization Registration Act.
Senate S Sub for HB 2382: STAR Bonds, extending the sunset date.
Senate S Sub for HB 2117: Income tax reform.
Senate Senate Sub. for Sub. for HB 2333: Enacting the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Act of 2014.
Senate HB 2631: Dental care availability and access.
Senate SB 406: Amending the Kansas Storage Tank act and the underground storage tank fund.
Senate H Sub for SB 177: Taxation; income and privilege tax rates; income tax deductions and credits and income determination; distribution of sales and use tax revenue; and severance tax exemptions.
Senate S Sub for HB 2526: Energy; relating to the state corporation commission, powers and duties.
Senate H Sub for SB 40: Concerning the Kansas housing loan deposit program; relating to the building or rehabilitation of adult care homes.
Senate HCR 5007: Constitutional amendment to preserve right to choose health care services and participate in health insurance plan.
Senate HB 2743: Authorize the Abstracter’s Board of Examiners to increase annual fee.
Senate SB 322: Extend for one fiscal year the judicial surcharge; adds and increases other fees.
Senate HB 2569: Legislative review of exceptions to disclosure of public records.
Senate Sub for HB 2689: Alcoholic beverages; tasting samples; microdistilleries; happy hours; public venue licenses; farm wineries; other.
Senate S Sub for HB 2117 reconsider: Income tax reform.
Senate SR 1804: Transportation; requesting a multi-year federal transportation funding program at current funding levels.
Senate H Sub for SB 79 table Conf Comm: Protection of rights and privileges granted under the United States or Kansas constitutions.
Senate H Sub for SB 79 adopt Conf Comm: Protection of rights and privileges granted under the United States or Kansas constitutions.
Senate SB 371: Sales taxation; presumptions relating to nexus.

Kansas Economic Freedom Index: Senators

A pdf file holding the votes for all Senators is Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 Senators and Votes. An Excel spreadsheet showing all votes cast is Excel Spreadsheet: Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 Senate Members and Votes. Or, download individual pdf files for each member below:

Abrams, Steve
Apple, Pat
Bruce, Terry
Brungardt, Pete
Donovan, Les
Emler, Jay
Faust-Goudeau, Oletha
Francisco, Marci
Haley, David
Hensley, Anthony
Holland, Tom
Huntington, Terrie
Kelly, Laura
Kelsey, Dick
King, Jeff
Kultala, Kelly
Longbine, Jeff
Love, Garrett
Lynn, Julia
Marshall, Bob
Masterson, Ty
McGinn, Carolyn
Merrick, Ray
Morris, Stephen
Olson, Robert (Rob)
Ostmeyer, Ralph
Owens, Thomas (Tim)
Petersen, Mike
Pilcher-Cook, Mary
Pyle, Dennis
Reitz, Roger
Schmidt, Allen
Schmidt, Vicki
Schodorf, Jean
Steineger, Chris
Taddiken, Mark
Teichman, Ruth
Umbarger, Dwayne
Vratil, John
Wagle, Susan

Kansas Economic Freedom Index: House of Representatives Members

A pdf file holding the votes for all Representatives is Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 House Members and Votes. An Excel spreadsheet showing all votes cast is Excel Spreadsheet: Kansas Economic Freedom Index 2012 House Members and Votes. Or, download individual pdf files for each member below:

Alford, Stephen
Arpke, Tom
Aurand, Clay
Ballard, Barbara
Bethell, Bob
Billinger, Rick
Bollier, Barbara
Boman, Benny
Bowers, Elaine
Brookens, Bob
Brown, Anthony
Bruchman, Rob
Brunk, Steven
Burgess, Mike
Burroughs, Tom
Calloway, Terry
Carlin, Sydney
Carlson, Richard
Cassidy, Ward
Collins, Dan
Colloton, Pat
Crum, Dave
Davis, Paul
DeGraaf, Pete
Denning, Jim
Dillmore, Nile
Donohoe, Owen
Fawcett, James
Feuerborn, Bill
Finney, Gail
Flaharty, Geraldine
Frownfelter, Stan
Garber, Randy
Gatewood, Doug
Gatewood, Sean
Goico, Mario
Gonzalez, Ramon
Goodman, Jana
Gordon, Lana
Grange, John
Grant, Robert
Gregory, TerriLois
Grossserode, Amanda
Hayzlett, Gary
Hedke, Dennis
Henderson, Broderick
Henry, Jerry
Hermanson, Phil
Hildabrand, Brett
Hill, Don
Hineman, Don
Hoffman, Kyle
Holmes, Carl
Holmes, Mitch
Howell, Jim
Huebert, Steve
Johnson, Steven
Kelley, Kasha
Kelly, Jim
Kerschen, Dan
Kiegerl, Mike
Kinzer, Lance
Kleeb, Marvin
Knox, Forrest
Kuether, Annie
Landwehr, Brenda
Lane, Harold
LeDoux, Trent
Loganbill, Judith
Mah, Ann
Mast, Peggy
McCray-Miller, Melody
McLeland, Joe
Meier, Melanie
Meigs, Kelly
Mesa, Reynaldo
Montgomery, Robert
Moxley, Tom
O’Brien, Connie
O’Hara, Charlotte
O’Neal, Michael (Mike)
Osterman, Leslie
Otto, Bill
Patton, Joe
Pauls, Janice
Peck, Virgil
Peterson, Michael (Mike)
Phelps, Eber
Phillips, Tom
Pottorff, Jo Ann
Powell, Larry
Prescott, William (Willie)
Proehl, Richard
Rhoades, Marc
Roth, Charles
Rubin, John
Ruiz, Louis
Ryckman, Ronald
Scapa, Joseph
Schroeder, Don
Schwab, Scott
Schwartz, Sharon
Seiwert, Joe
Shultz, Clark
Siegfreid, Arlen
Slattery, Mike
Sloan, Tom
Smith, Greg
Spalding, Sheryl
Suellentrop, Gene
Swanson, Vern
Tietze, Annie
Trimmer, Ed
Tyson, Caryn
Vickrey, Jene
Victors, Ponka-We
Ward, Jim
Weber, Brian
Wetta, Vincent
Williams, Jerry
Winn, Valdenia
Wolf, Kay
Wolf, William
Wolfe Moore, Kathy
Worley, Ron

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The importance of economic freedom

by Bob Weeks on February 24, 2011

Why is economic freedom important? Here’s what Milton Friedman had to say in the opening chapter of his monumental work Capitalism and Freedom some 50 years ago:

The Relation between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom

It is widely believed that politics and economics are separate and largely unconnected; that individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem; and that any kind of political arrangements can be combined with any kind of economic arrangements. The chief contemporary manifestation of this idea is the advocacy of “democratic socialism” by many who condemn out of hand the restrictions on individual freedom imposed by “totalitarian socialism” in Russia, and who are persuaded that it is possible for a country to adopt the essential features of Russian economic arrangements and yet to ensure individual freedom through political arrangements. The thesis of this chapter is that such a view is a delusion, that there is an intimate connection between economics and politics, that only certain arrangements are possible and that, in particular, a society which is socialist cannot also be democratic, in the sense of guaranteeing individual freedom.

Economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.

For more about Friedman and his thoughts on economic freedom, see Milton Friedman, the Father of Economic Freedom.

Economic freedom is the most important factor in determining the well-being of people across the world. Where economic freedom exists, countries become wealthy. In introducing the Economic Freedom of the World report, its authors write: “Economic freedom has been shown in numerous peer-reviewed studies to promote prosperity and other positive outcomes. It is a necessary condition for democratic development. It liberates people from dependence on government in a planned economy, and allows them to make their own economic and political choices.”

One of the authors of the Economic Freedom of the World report, Robert Lawson, expands on the importance of economic freedom: “The big question is: Do countries that exhibit greater degrees of economic freedom perform better than those that do not? Much scholarly research has been and continues to be done to see if the index [of economic freedom] correlates with various measures of the good society: higher incomes, economic growth, income equality, gender equality, life expectancy, and so on. While there is scholarly debate about the exact nature of these relationships, the results are uniform: measures of economic freedom relate positively with these factors.

Economic freedom is important to the states, too. In the 2009 report Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom, researchers found that “… states enjoying more economic and personal freedom tend to attract substantially higher rates of internal net migration.” In measures of economic and personal freedom, Kansas ranks relatively well among the states, but lags behind some neighboring states. Actions by the Kansas legislature in 2010 might drive its ranking down, were the index to be recomputed.

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Kansas legislative scorecards

by Bob Weeks on February 24, 2011

Kansans need to know the true voting record of members of the legislature. Legislative scorecards or ratings can be a valuable resource for learning about the actions and record of legislators.

These ratings are valuable because they record what a legislator actually does. Sometimes that’s different from what legislators say they do.

Producing a meaningful rating is difficult. You need to find votes that discriminate between political positions, as including a bill where the vote was 115 to 3 provides little discriminative value. Sometimes there are procedural votes leading up to final passage, and it may be these somewhat obscure votes that provide the ability to meaningfully distinguish political positions.

Through the 2008 legislative session, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network produced scorecards. After Peterjohn was elected to the Sedgwick County Commission in 2008, KTN merged with the Kansas Chapter of Americans For Prosperity. AFP produced ratings for the 2009 and 2010 session. Also, the Kansas Economic Freedom Index produces legislative ratings.

Following are the scorecards for recent sessions.

Kansas Senate

Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2010
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2009
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2008
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2007
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2005
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2004
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2003
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2002
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2001
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 2000
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 1999
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 1998
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 1997
Kansas Senate Legislative Scorecard 1996

Kansas House of Representatives

Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2010
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2009
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2008
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2007
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2006
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2005
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2004
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2003
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2001
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 2000
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 1999
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 1998
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 1997
Kansas House Legislative Scorecard 1996

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Kansas Economic Freedom Index, 2010

by Bob Weeks on February 24, 2011

Here are final versions of the Kansas Economic Freedom Index for the Senate and House of Representatives for 2010. The index was last updated on May 25, 2010; see Kansas Economic Freedom Index updated for remarks.

The purpose of the Kansas Economic Freedom Index is to identify Kansas legislators who vote in favor of economic freedom — and those who don’t.

Economic freedom is an end in itself, and is an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom, according to Milton Friedman. For more on economic freedom, click on The importance of economic freedom.

In the index, each bill has a weight. This is a number from 1 to 10, with 10 meaning the bill is of greatest importance. When I calculate the index value for a legislator, I add up the weights for the bills being considered, and add up the weights the legislator “earned” based on their votes, and that’s the basis of the calculation.

When a legislator votes “Absent,” the vote is not included in that legislator’s calculation. While some have suggested that I attempt to distinguish between excused absences and other absences, and that I ask legislators with excused absences what their vote would have been had they not been absent, this seems unworkable.

The vote that is in favor of economic freedom might be “Yea” in some cases, and “Nay” in others. For each vote, I indicate what is the vote for economic freedom.

Links to final versions for the 2010 legislative session:
Kansas Economic Freedom Index, Senate
Kansas Economic Freedom Index, House of Representatives

For an archive of similar projects from years past, see Kansas legislative scorecards, rankings.


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