2019 “People First” Report Card for Florida Lawmakers Released

Did state legislators represent the people or powerful special interests? Find out at www.FloridaReportCard.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2019

Contact: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 / Damien@ProgressFlorida.org

TALLAHASSEE – Progress Florida today unveiled its 2019 “People First” Report Card grading lawmakers on many of the most prominent votes they cast during the past legislative session. The grades take into account votes across a wide range of issues, helping Floridians discern if their representatives and senators in Tallahassee are fighting on their behalf – or are instead serving powerful corporate special interests and ideological extremism.

Every active legislator was graded based on key floor votes cast in their respective chambers – 21 votes in the House and 17 in the Senate. To achieve an A or B grade on the Report Card, lawmakers had to consistently vote to put “People First” instead of powerful special interests.

“Florida politicians like to talk a good game when it comes to supporting Florida families, but this scorecard shows which ones are actually walking the walk with their votes,” said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of Progress Florida. “Now more than ever, it’s important Floridians know which lawmakers are doing right by everyday Floridians, and which ones are really in the hip pocket of corporate lobbyists or ideological extremists.”

The interactive 2019 Progress Florida “People First” Report Card can be viewed at www.FloridaReportCard.com. Listed below are the 39 lawmakers (up from 17 last year) who earned an “A” grade, including 14 in bold, listed first, who earned a “People’s Champion” Award for their 100% voting records:

Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Miami)
Rep. Kamia Brown (D-Ocoee)
Rep. John Cortes (D-Kissimmee)
Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando)
Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil (D-Maitland)
Rep. Michael Gottlieb (D-Davie)
Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Hollywood)
Rep. Dotie Joseph (D-North Miami)
Rep. Amy Mercado (D-Orlando)
Rep. Cindy Polo (D-Miramar)
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando)
Rep. Geraldine Thompson (D-Windermere)
Rep. Clovis Watson (D-Alachua)
Rep. Ramon Alexander (D-Tallahassee)
Rep. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee)
Rep. Joseph Casello (D-Boynton Beach)
Rep. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville)
Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg)
Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa)

Rep. Joseph Geller (D-Dania Beach)
Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach)
Sen. Oscar Braynon II (D-Miami Gardens)
Sen. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa)
Sen. Gary Farmer (D-Fort Lauderdale)
Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-Miami)
Sen. Kevin J. Rader (D-Boca Raton)
Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando)
Sen. Victor M. Torres, Jr. (D-Kissimmee)
Rep. Margaret Good (D-Sarasota)
Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Beach)
Rep. Dianne Hart (D-Tampa)
Rep. Adam Hattersley (D-Riverview)
Rep. Delores Hogan Johnson (D-Fort Pierce)
Rep. Sharon Pritchett (D-Miami Gardens)
Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston)
Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami Gardens)
Rep. Jennifer Webb (D-Gulfport)
Rep. Patricia Williams (D-Lauderdale Lakes)

Among the high-profile votes factored into lawmaker grades were the anti-voter initiative bill (HB 5), the anti-immigrant family separation bill (HB 527/SB 168), the Billionaire Boulevard toll road boondoggle (SB 7068), guns in the classroom (CS/CS/SB 7030) diverting tax dollars from public schools to unaccountable private schools (SB 7070), forced parental consent for abortion and many others. The complete list of bills scored can be found at www.FloridaReportCard.com.

Last year, only three lawmakers earned a “People’s Champion” award for their 100% scores, but this year that number jumped to 13. “It’s great to see so many more legislators putting people first where it counts, with their votes,” said Ferrulo. “These 13 lawmakers unequivocally stood up for Florida families despite pressure from very powerful special interests.”

On the other hand, a number of destructive bills passed with support from Gov. DeSantis and his legislative allies. “The 2019 legislature will be remembered for indefensible attacks on voting rights, civil rights, our environment, and public schools,” said Ferrulo. “Once again, special interests ruled the day, while legislative leadership rammed through regressive policies that will harm our state for years to come.”

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For more information, go to www.FloridaReportCard.com.

Progress Florida is a statewide organization fighting to build a more progressive Florida. Learn more at www.ProgressFlorida.org.