Lawmakers get A through F grades — from a progressive point of view — and many GOP members flunked

By: - May 29, 2020 1:16 pm

Republican State Rep. Erin Grall, (left) sponsor of the parental-consent bill, and Democratic State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, (right) who voted for the bill. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

No surprise: Republican Florida House Speaker José Oliva, who has pushed a conservative to libertarian agenda through the state House, got one of the lowest grades of all in an analysis by the Progress Florida organization.

Oliva got a 37 percent — an F.

The more moderate Republican Senate President — Bill Galvano — got a grade of 64 percent, which is D.

The only grade lower than Oliva’s grade went to Pasco Republican Amber Mariano, who earned a 33 percent. That’s the lowest F among lawmakers graded in the annual People First Report Card by Progress Florida. The Florida Phoenix contacted Mariano and is waiting for a response.

The organization describes itself as promoting progressive values and its grading system for lawmakers sways toward Democrats getting higher grades in the A-F analysis.

In fact, 55 Democrats got As, with 27 of those lawmakers getting 100 percent. The other A grades were listed as 90 to 95 percent.

The analysis factors in major floor votes in the 2020 legislative session, around issues including a parental consent for abortion bill, vouchers for kids to go to private schools and other measures.

Since the 2017 legislative session, the organization has released the report  card, which aims to identify which Florida lawmakers are voting for “people first instead of powerful special interests,” according to the group’s website.

“With Florida battling a health and financial crisis it’s more important than ever to know how our legislators are voting on major issues that impact our lives,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo in a written statement.

Three Democrats got a B (86 percent); two got a C; two got a D and one got a F. State Rep. James Bush, a Miami Democrat, got 57 percent, getting the only F grade for Democrats.

Bush voted yes on bills related to parent consent for a minor getting an abortion, school vouchers and terms limits for school board members, among other measures.

Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat representing part of Duval County, received a 61 percent  — the second lowest to Democrat Rep. Bush.

According to the People First Report Card, she didn’t vote on four bills, but she did vote for bills on abortion, vouchers and school board term limits.

In all, 73 Republican lawmakers got Fs; 20 Republicans got Ds. One got a C — Sen. Anitere Flores, who represents Monroe and part of Miami-Dade County.

With a score of 71 percent, Flores was the highest-scoring Republican in the People First Report Card analysis. She voted favorably for several environmental protection bills.

On the Republican side, besides Oliva and Mariano, the lowest percentage figure in the analysis was 43 percent.

Overall, 53 Republican lawmakers got that 43 percent figure. That included Erin Grall, who sponsored the parental consent bill. She represents part of St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.