By Judy Ball, Chair of League Legislative Action Workgroup
The LWVWV’s League Legislative Action Workgroup (LLAW) members have been busy since the last issue of The Voter. In this period between legislative sessions, we have focused our efforts on voter information in the form of a Legislative Scorecard.
2023 LWVWV Legislative Scorecard
The League is only one of many organizations that engage in policy education and advocacy. Some of these organizations develop Legislative Scorecards to communicate to their members and the public how the Legislature responded to their organization’s priorities. Typically, such Scorecards are compiled and published annually.
A Legislative Scorecard aims to report, in an easily consumable format, the activities of the last legislative session, including votes by Senators and Delegates on specific bills prioritized by each organization.
This year, for the first time, LWVWV had the capacity to compile such a Scorecard. The LWVWV Board approved the content and format in August. Now that we have a model and the means to deliver it, we plan to make this an annual effort.
The searchable Legislative Scorecard was released on the LWVWV.org website on October 13. It tracks the votes of all 134 WV state senators and delegates on legislation that became law from the 2023 regular session. The Scorecard was designed to offer voters easy-to-use information on how their legislators voted on bills prioritized by LWVWV.
How Was the Legislative Scorecard Developed?
The 2023 regular session of the WV Legislature resulted in 333 bills becoming law, too many for anyone to consume easily and not all of equal importance. The LWVWV Legislative Scorecard includes 25 bills covering four League priorities: strengthening democracy (0 bills), safeguarding equal rights (10 bills), protecting children and families (8 bills), and creating a sustainable future (7 bills). Unfortunately, out of 333 bills that became law, we found no bills of sufficient substance to represent the League’s #1 priority of strengthening democracy by making voting more accessible.
The 25 bills in this year’s Scorecard were selected without regard to their sponsors or which legislators supported or opposed them. We do not contend that this selection of 25 bills from the 333 provides a complete or representative view of any legislator’s work product. The focus was LWVWV’s priorities. For League members, those may be your priorities as well.
We followed guidelines from Bolder Advocacy here to keep this effort nonpartisan.
How to Use the Legislative Scorecard
Step 1: Go to the LWVWV.org website to use the Legislative Scorecard.
Step 2: Click on Explore Scorecard, which will take you to an overview and links to the Scorecard components:
- Bill Summaries – Summarizes the contents of each bill because information on the WV Legislature website was often inadequate. Each bill is color-coded to show the LWVWV position, oppose or support.
- Bill Votes – Shows votes for each Legislator for each bill. This is the most detailed information. To cut down on the detail, you can search for individual legislators by name or district. Votes are color-coded for agreement/disagreement with LWVWV positions.
- Summary Scorecard – Summarizes votes within priority area for each Legislator, including absences. Also searchable for individual Legislators by name or district.
Each component is organized by priority area.
Your Legislative districts may have changed due to redistricting after the 2020 Census. If you’re not sure which districts you’re in now, you can look them up on the Secretary of State’s website at https://mapwv.gov/vote22/. Enter your address and your districts will appear. Or, call your County Clerk’s office.
This Legislative Scorecard contains information designed to inform voters and to hold legislators, regardless of party, accountable for their votes on League priorities. We hope you will find it useful.
Please share with your friends and neighbors. Use it to ask questions of your representatives in the Legislature. Write letters to the editor, if you’re happy or unhappy with how your representatives are voting.
Make Some Noise!