Progressive-leaning groups grade 70% of the Legislature as failing to put people first

Political Chess Game
Not 1 Republican escaped failing ratings, according to Progress Florida and Florida Watch.

Two progressive-leaning groups doled out failing grades to 70% of state lawmakers — 112 Republicans and one Democrat — for a Session they termed “a gut punch.”

According to a news release, the People First Report Card grades by Progress Florida and Florida Watch graded lawmakers on critical votes, judging whether lawmakers considered the public interest instead of moneyed or partisan ones.

There was not enough done to address the state’s deepening affordability crisis and too many attacks on freedom, leaders of the group said.

“Too many legislators acted as little more than rubber stamps for Gov. (Ron) DeSantis’ nonstop assault on our freedoms, as illustrated by their passing of a near-total abortion ban, dangerous permitless carry of loaded, concealed guns that will make us less safe, and relentless attacks on LGBTQ+, immigrant and Black communities,” said Florida Watch Director Josh Weierbach.

“Now, taxpayers are going to be left to pay the bills for this relentless onslaught of unconstitutional legislation that did nothing to address the real issues facing everyday Floridians.”

Laws such as the six-week abortion ban, the expansion of school choice, new rules for rent deposits, criminalizing certain aspects of immigrant lives, and the expansion of the Parental Rights Law were among the votes the two organizations weighed in their grading.

All Republican leaders in the House were among the 62 GOP lawmakers judged to be failing most spectacularly (getting the lowest grade, an 11% rating). That included House Speaker Paul Renner, Majority Leader Michael Grant and Speaker Pro Tempore Chuck Clemons.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Senate Majority Leader Ben Albritton scored 15%, according to the progressive groups’ metrics.

Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Jacksonville was the sole Democrat on the list of lawmakers getting an “F,” although, with a numerical grade of 46%, she was the highest-scoring failure.

The group was not entirely impressed with the Democrats’ work either. Judged as delivering a “C” effort were Sen. Shevrin Jones, Sen. Darryl Rouson and Rep. Gallop Franklin II. Sen. Linda Stewart of Orlando squeaked in a “B,” according to the People First Report Card.

Some might say the bipartisan bona fides of top Senate Democrats hurt them slightly. Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book and her future successor, Sen. Jason Pizzo, are not “A-rated.” They both got an 89% grade, according to the metrics Progress Florida and Florida Watch used.

House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell fell shy of a perfect grade, garnering a 96% rating. Fourteen lawmakers were deemed a “People’s Champion,” judged at 100% for putting people first, with seven of them hailing from Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach counties.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Dont Say FLA

    July 27, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Pretty lame when somebody’s idea of being a good place for business means the government undermines the workers and weakens worker’s rights, and always in the name of “right to work”

    Criticism in that regard is a very fine line to walk. It’s a main reason for why lost Stacey Abrahams Georgia’s Governorship. She meant Georgia wasn’t a good place to be a worker, but she said it wasn’t a good place to live. The Kemp Campaign ate her dinner over that contextual misspeak.

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      July 27, 2023 at 12:11 pm

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  • It’s Complicated

    July 27, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    LOL! Unless you wear a black beret and a Che shirt and are willing to publicly execute dissenters on the town square, you are not Leftist-enough for some of these groups. The Republicans will proudly use these low-F grades as a badge of honor and a measure of how well they are aligned with their cause.

    • Dont Say FLA

      July 27, 2023 at 1:26 pm

      No need for conjecture. While the names of the bills are editorialized, here’s their list of real Florida bills these reps voted on, including each HB or SB number so you can check the bill’s official name if you like.

      Taxpayer Giveaway to Unaccountable Corporate Schools (HB 1)
      Anti-ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Investments (HB 3)
      Politicizing County School Boards (HJR 31)
      Anti-Direct Democracy (HJR 129)
      Perpetual Predatory Fee on Renters (HB 133)
      Attack on Local Decision-Making (SB 170)
      Limiting Law Enforcement Anti-Gun Violence Tools (SB 214)
      Criminalizing Gender-Affirming Health Care (SB 254)
      Attack on Public Worker Unions (SB 256)
      Censorship in Higher Education (SB 266)
      Near Total Abortion Ban (SB 300)
      Growth Mismanagement / Citizen Intimidation (SB 540)
      Permitless Carry of Firearms (HB 543)
      Growth Mismanagement / Anti-Local Control (SB 718)
      Don’t Say Gay Expansion / Trans Discrimination Bill (HB 1069)
      Radioactive Roads Bill (HB 1191)
      Defunding Public Schools (HB 1259)
      Anti-Renters’ Rights Bill (HB 1417)
      Anti-Drag Show Ban (SB 1438)
      Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill (HB 1521)
      Rollback of Parkland Gun Safety Reforms (HB 1543)
      License to Discriminate in Health Care (SB 1580)
      Anti-Government in the Sunshine (SB 1616)
      Anti-Immigrant Bill (SB 1718)
      Anti-Freedom to Vote Bill (SB 7050)
      KidCare Eligibility Expansion (HB 121)
      Lactation Spaces in Courthouses (SB 144)
      Menstrual Hygiene Products in Public Schools (HB 389)

      The grades aren’t surprising, but the overwhelming majority of Republicans getting the same grade, 11%, that speaks volumes to group-think aka a deficit of critical thinking skills. Maybe they should all be enslaved so they can learn some skills.

      • It's Complicated

        July 27, 2023 at 3:10 pm

        LOL! Yes, sir. The Free State of Florida Agenda.

    • Mr. Haney

      July 30, 2023 at 4:58 pm

      Moron, typical Republican

  • Antonio

    July 28, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Progressives don’t like Republicans. Shocking story. Pulitzer material for sure.

Comments are closed.


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