On Wednesday, the Rio Grande Foundation (RGF), a free market think tank, released the highest performers of its 2023 Legislative Session Freedom Index, a ranking system by the group based on floor votes taken by state legislators regarding “various economic, education, and constitutional issues from a pro-freedom perspective.”
The group ranked each vote from -8 to +8 “depending on the overall impact of the legislation.”
“The best overall voting records were compiled by Alamogordo area freshman legislator Rep. John Block. Block was followed by Rep. Randall Pettigrew, who represents parts of Hobbs and surrounding areas,” wrote the group.
Block received a total score of 116, while Pettigrew scored 102.
“Kudos and thank you to Rep. Block and Rep. Pettigrew for their strong leadership. We’ll discuss the Senate and have more scores in a subsequent post,” RGF wrote.
The highest-rated state senators were Sen. Joshua Sanchez (R-Grants), with a 75 score, and Sen. William Sharer (R-Farmington), with a score of 72.
The lowest-rated senators, according to the Freedom Index, are Sen. Leo Jaramillo (D-Española), with -132, and Sens. Brenda McKenna (D-Corrales), Michael Padilla (D-Albuquerque), Nancy Rodriguez (D-Santa Fe), and Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) tying for second-worst with a score of -131.
The House members with the lowest scores are Reps. Joann Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) and Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque) with scores of -130.
Votes included in the Index ranged from gun rights to abortion, with the highest-weighted categories appearing to be regarding taxation, the budget, and the environment.
A podcast with RGF President Paul Gessing talking about the Freedom Index can be streamed here.