In recent weeks Rep. Dana Criswell has received two awards for his conservative voting record. In August, Dana received an "A" rating from Americans for Prosperity - Mississippi (AFP-MS). Each year, AFP-MS scores legislators on their commitment to lower taxes, responsible spending, less regulation, and student-centered education. This is Rep. Criswell's second year to receive their top rating as a Champion of Freedom.
The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings for the 2017 meeting of the Mississippi Legislature, and Representative Dana Criswell received an Award of Conservative Excellence for his voting record. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the legislature as well as individual members’ prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect Mississippians.
The ACUF reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Representatives to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.
Mississippi legislators took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session including civil asset forfeiture, craft brewery regulations, Medicaid fraud, and occupational licensing reform. Most notably, they:
- Reformed the state’s asset forfeiture laws by requiring authorities to obtain a seizure warrant within 72 hours of taking property;
- Permitted small craft breweries to sell light wine and beer directly to customers within specific parameters;
- Made a series of improvements to strengthen the state’s ability to detect fraud in Medicaid eligibility; and
- Expanded entrepreneurship and economic growth by reforming restrictive and overregulated occupational licensing across the state.
Though the two chambers worked hand-in-hand to pass legislation this year, the average scores for the Mississippi State Senate and House both fell this year, suggesting the legislative body has a lot of room for improvement. The Mississippi Senate’s average score decreased by 14% this year – from 62% in 2016 to 48% in 2017 – and the House’s score decreased by 10% – from 62% in 2016 to 52% this year. Unfortunately, and in stark contrast to Mississippi’s 2016 legislative session, no awards were granted to members of the Mississippi Senate for this year’s session.
The 2017 Ratings of Mississippi are available online here.
The 2017 Americans for Prosperity - Mississippi rating are online here.