The Middle Resolution Scorecard (TMRS) assesses an elected representatives’ voting record against The Middle Resolution’s (TMR’s) legislative priorities.
Scorecard Legislation Selection
At the beginning of a Virginia General Assembly session, all legislators are provided with a notional statement of TMR’s priorities for the session. In 2018, these priorities (weightings) were divided into four categories:
- Fiscal Responsibility (2 bills, 33%)
- Healthcare (8 bills, 25%)
- Election Law (9 bills, 25%)
- Education (16 bills, 17%)
As bills are submitted, they are reviewed by a team in each area, consisting of two to five reviewers. Working cooperatively, the Team assigns each bill to a priority category: Priority 1 (TMR concern requiring resource investment, active lobbying and is scored in the TMRS); Priority 2 (TMR concern, but not of sufficient importance to actively invest time, money, or resources to support or oppose but is actively tracked and monitored); Priority 3 (TMR concern, whose status is recorded for historical purposes); Priority 4 (not a TMR concern).
As soon as possible after the cut‐off for bill submittal, a final list of MR Priority 1 legislation is: finalized; ranked against other Priority 1 legislation using a prioritization matrix approach; weighted within its category; and reviewed by the TMR Executive Board.
TMRS’s underlying premise is that all elected officials have an obligation to voters to cast a vote, each and every time they have an opportunity to do so. Each bill is tracked through every subcommittee, committee, and floor vote, before and after cross‐over. For votes that correspond to TMR’s position on the bill, each legislator receives 5 points for a subcommittee vote, 10 points for a committee vote, and 15 points for a floor vote. For legislator votes that do not correspond to MR’s position or if the legislator is not present, walks, or abstains, he receives 0 points. These points are weighted based upon the bill’s weighted priority within its category. The legislator’s score is obtained by dividing earned points by the total number of possible points.
The scoring system does capture most nuanced voting, including prerogatives exercised by Committee and Sub‐Committee Chairman, amendments to the bill, and amendments in the form of substitutes. For example, a decision to let a bill die is attributed only to the Sub‐Committee or Committee Chairman. Passing a bill by for the year, laying it on the table, and similar actions on which a vote is taken are attributed to the members of the full Sub‐Committee or Committee. If amendments to the bill weaken the bill to the point that it cannot continue to be supported, TMRS scores that Sub‐Committee or Committee action accordingly.
The result is a legislative score that is reflective of an individual member’s opportunity to cast a vote in support of TMR’s legislative agenda.