Civitas Action Blog

Civitas Action – New and Improved


May 6, 2016

Welcome to the new Civitas Action webpage. Civitas Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that educates and informs North Carolinians on policy issues and the actions of their elected officials. Civitas Action is the home for its annual Conservative Effectiveness Ranking of North Carolina state lawmakers, ranking state legislators since the 2008 legislative session.

On the updated website, Civitas Action will include a Blog page, an “Action Alert” page and a signup page and will now track legislative votes as they happen. The legislative vote on HB 2 is already posted to the site, and votes on important issues throughout the session will be updated as they occur. This will enable constituents, media and legislators alike to track scores as the 2016 legislative session progresses.

More about the Conservative Effectiveness Rankings

The Civitas Action Conservative Effectiveness Ranking is the only rating system in North Carolina that allows the citizens of North Carolina to gauge how their state legislator actually votes on important bills, and offers a score to better determine the member’s overall ideological stance on the pivotal issues. Letter grades will no longer be assigned as we believe those grades distracted from the ability to gauge legislators’ effectiveness based on relative numeric scores.

The rankings analyze each member’s vote on important legislation to better decipher the member’s ideological stance on the issues. Votes ranked in the past eight years included key legislation such as the state budget, tax reform, setting up a state Obamacare exchange/Medicaid expansion, eminent domain, public records, religious liberty and election reform and unemployment insurance reform.

In 2010, the average score for Senate members was 26.5 percent, while House scores averaged 31.5 percent. Compare those averages to 2011, the year Republicans took the majority in the both the state Senate and House for the first time in history, when the average score for Senate members was 75.9 percent and for the House - 61.9 percent. The average scores stayed close to 2011’s highs in 2012 (Senate – 69 percent and House 64.5 percent) and 2013 (Senate – 71.1 percent and House 59.5 percent). In 2014 we watched the averages in both state houses fall (Senate 51.7 percent, House 47.3 percent) and there was a slight uptick in 2015 when the average score for Senate members was 52.9 percent and House members’ average score was 55.1 percent.

Since gaining the majority in 2010 in both legislative houses, Republicans have achieved great success advancing conservative reforms. But, success sometimes leads to complacency and the Civitas Action rankings, now happening in real-time, should help our elected officials to stick with proven, successful conservative solutions to the challenges facing North Carolina.

Rankings for the 2011 thru 2015 sessions are now available on the site, with prior years to be added in the coming weeks.