Wyoming Liberty Index, 2012 Budget Session, 61st Legislature

Welcome to the 2012 Wyoming Liberty Index.

The Bills

The 2012 Wyoming Liberty Index rates all final bills in the House and Senate from the 2012 Budget Session, 61st Legislature, on whether they support or inhibit liberty.

Legislators voted on 134 bills in the House and 123 bills in the Senate. Out of this total, the Liberty Index showed that 35 liberty-supporting bills passed and 36 failed. Additionally, 46 liberty-inhibiting bills passed while 62 failed.

Nothing stands out as a liberty supporting bills that passed, like the Firearms Freedom Act or Health Care Freedom Amendment in recent years. SF 8, which repealed the ethanol tax credit greendoggle, passed. But an amendment phased out the credit instead of chopping it off cleanly.

The most liberty supporting bills that failed include: HB 119, which would have allowed consumers to buy health care insurance across state lines, just like they now buy car insurance across state lines. This one passed the House 56 to 1. Then one Senator sat on it in committee.

The most liberty inhibiting bills that passed include: SF 58, which would have set up the Obamacare health care exchange.

The most liberty inhibiting bills that failed include: SF 91, which would have extended the life of the failed Healthy Frontiers medicaid program; HB 84, which would have established occupational licensing for massage therapists; and SF 31, the coal liquification corporate welfare boondoggle.

And there was a certain amount of fun, for example with HJ 13, "Resolution in support of Central Park wilderness". The resolution called on Congress to make New York City's Central Park a wilderness area. If Congress were to do this, Wyoming would donate a breeding pair of grey wolves.

There is detailed information on each bill. The information includes comments from the raters on why they rated the bills as they did.

The Legislators

In addition, the voting pattern of each legislator was automatically calculated and given a liberty score. The higher the score, the better the legislator's agreement with the raters. A high score simply reflects a high level of aye votes on liberty-supporting bills and nay votes on liberty-inhibiting bills. Scores are only indicators of ordering, and arithmetic manipulations are meaningless. The percentage is simply out of the range from highest score (100%) to lowest (0%). Because the two houses vote on different bills, scores in the two houses are not comparable.

The Top Dozen liberty-supporting members in the House were (in order) Representatives Kendell Kroeker, Amy Edmonds, Bob Brechtel, Matt Teeters, Allen Jaggi, Frank Peasley, Kathy Davison, Mark Semlek, David Miller, John Eklund, "Dr. No" (a hypothetical legislator who sponsors nothing and always votes no), and Lorraine Quarberg. Rep. Kroeker wins the title of "Most Liberty-Friendly Member of the House for 2012", and by a wide margin.

The House Needs Improvement Club consists of those members who most consistently voted to limit freedom. They are (in order) Representatives John Patton, Dave Bonner, William "Jeb" Steward, Matthias Greene, Ruth Petroff, Kermit Brown, Bernadine Craft, David Zwonitzer, James Byrd, Cathy Connolly, Joseph Barbuto, Mary Throne. Rep. Throne has earned the title of "Most Liberty-Hostile Member of the House for 2012".

The Top Half-Dozen liberty-supporting members in the Senate were (in order) Senators Cale Case, "Dr. No", Ogden Driskill, Larry Hicks, Eli Bebout, and John Hines. Once again, and for as long as we have been rating the Senate, Senator Cale Case has come out on top; he earns the title of the "Most Liberty-Friendly Member of the Senate for 2012" by a substantial margin. Kudos yet again to Senator Case!

The Senate Needs Improvement Club are those members who most consistently voted to limit freedom. They are (in order) Senators Fred Emerich, Marty Martin, Leland Christensen, Floyd Esquibel, Chris Rothfuss, and John Hastert. Once again, Senator Hastert has earned the title of "Most Liberty-Hostile Member of the Senate for 2011".

Those who came in ahead of "Dr. No" can take an additional bow.

There is detailed information on each legislator.

The 2012 Wyoming House Index

This table shows the weighted liberty score and weighted liberty percentage for each representative.

NameParDistDistrict LocationWeighted ScoreWeighted PercentWeighted Rank
Kendell KroekerR35Natrona57.67100%1
Amy EdmondsR12Laramie32.1772%2
Bob BrechtelR38Natrona24.8364%3
Matt TeetersR5Goshen/Platte24.3364%4
Allen JaggiR18Uinta/Sweetwater20.8360%5
Frank PeasleyR3Converse/Platte2059%6
Kathy DavisonR20Lincoln/Sublette/Sweetwater1958%7
Mark SemlekR1Crook/Weston18.1757%8
David MillerR55Fremont1857%9
John EklundR10Laramie17.1756%10
"Dr. No"1654%11
Lorraine QuarbergR28S Big Horn/Hot Springs/SE Park13.552%12
Hans HuntR2Niobrara/Weston/Converse/Goshen10.8349%13
Edward BuchananR4Goshen10.548%14
Robert McKimR21Lincoln9.8348%15
Thomas LubnauR31Campbell9.6748%16
Bunky LoucksR59Natrona8.6746%17
Tom ReederR58Natrona441%18
Gerald GayR36Natrona3.8341%19
Donald Burkhart, JrR15Carbon2.6740%20
Thomas LockhartR57Natrona-136%21
Clarence VranishR49Uinta-1.1736%22
Norine KasperikR32Campbell-3.8333%23
Bob NicholasR8Laramie-433%24
Keith GingeryR23Fremont/Teton-4.6732%25
Ken EsquibelD41Laramie-6.3330%26
Michael MaddenR40Johnson/Sheridan-6.530%27
W. Patrick GogglesD33Fremont-729%28
Richard CannadyR6Converse-7.3329%29
Jonathan BottenR30Sheridan-7.529%30
Bryan PedersenR7Laramie-8.1728%31
Sue WallisR52Campbell-9.3327%32
Mike GreearR27Washakie-9.527%33
Glenn MonizR46Albany-10.6725%34
Elaine HarveyR26Big Horn/Park-11.3325%35
Gregg BlikreR53Campbell-11.524%36
Del McOmieR54Fremont-1224%37
Tim StubsonR56Natrona-12.523%38
Steve HarshmanR37Natrona-13.522%39
Owen PetersenR19Uinta-14.3321%40
Peter S. "Pete" IllowayR42Laramie-14.6721%41
Rita CampbellR34Fremont-14.6721%42
Dan ZwonitzerR43Laramie-14.6721%43
Samuel KroneR24Park-15.1720%44
Stan BlakeD39Sweetwater-16.1719%45
Pat ChildersR50Park-17.8317%46
John FreemanD60Sweetwater-1817%47
Rosie BergerR51Sheridan-1817%47
Jim RoscoeD22Lincoln/Sublette/Teton-19.3316%49
John PattonR29Sheridan-2015%50
Dave BonnerR25Park-20.3315%51
William "Jeb" StewardR47Carbon/Albany-2114%52
Matthias GreeneR45Albany-2312%53
Ruth PetroffR16Teton-2312%53
Kermit BrownR14Albany-24.8310%55
Bernadine CraftD17Sweetwater-25.179%56
David ZwonitzerR9Laramie-25.179%56
James ByrdD44Laramie-25.839%58
Cathy ConnollyD13Albany-269%59
Joseph BarbutoD48SW Fremont/Sweetwater-27.837%60
Mary ThroneD11Laramie-33.830%61

The 2012 Wyoming Senate Index

This table shows the weighted liberty score and weighted liberty percentage for each senator.

NameParDistDistrict LocationWeighted ScoreWeighted PercentWeighted Rank
Cale CaseR25Fremont21.17100%1
"Dr. No"16.3391%2
Ogden DriskillR1Crook/Weston/E Converse/Niobrara/NE Goshen4.3370%3
Larry HicksR11Albany/Carbon3.8369%4
Eli BeboutR26Fremont0.1763%5
John HinesR23Campbell-5.3353%6
Curt MeierR3Goshen/Platte-5.6753%7
Tony RossR4Laramie-5.6753%7
Gerald GeisR20S Big Horn/Hot Springs/SE Park/Washakie-7.1750%9
Leslie NuttingR7Laramie-8.1748%10
Phil NicholasR10Albany-9.6745%11
Michael Von FlaternR24Campbell-10.544%12
Kit JenningsR28Natrona-10.6744%13
Jim AndersonR2Converse/Platte-11.6742%14
Stan CooperR14Lincoln/Sublette/Sweetwater/Uinta-12.3341%15
Dan DockstaderR16Lincoln/Sublette/Teton-12.6740%16
R. Ray PetersonR19Big Horn/E Park-12.8340%17
Paul BarnardR15Uinta-13.1739%18
Charles ScottR30Natrona-13.6738%19
Bill LandenR27Natrona-15.8335%20
Drew PerkinsR29Natrona-16.3334%21
Bruce BurnsR21Sheridan-16.3334%22
Henry H.R. "Hank" CoeR18Park-16.3334%23
John SchifferR22Sheridan/Johnson-17.3332%24
Wayne JohnsonR6Laramie-19.1729%25
Fred EmerichR5Laramie-20.8326%26
Marty MartinD12Sweetwater/Fremont-21.3325%27
Leland ChristensenR17Teton/Fremont-22.3323%28
Floyd EsquibelD8Laramie-28.6712%29
Chris RothfussD9Albany-33.334%30
John HastertD13Sweetwater-35.330%31

More Information

The 2012 Index background information is available:

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