2020 was an interesting year, and it was quite evident at the State House where leaders of both chambers decided to take a legislative vacation while COVID-19 ravaged the state and the nation. As a result of this, there were virtually no bills to rank for the 2020 session. This, unfortunately, eliminated our ability to release a complete rankings set this year. We are thankful that this abbreviated rankings set will occur in a non-election year, but have prepared to accommodate this.
Rankings for Civil Liberties, Open Government, and Environment will be carried over from 2020 results. Besides Election Strength (which is out now!), a newly updated rankings set will be published for Social Media. This segment will include the Town Halls metric, which in 2020 could really only occur safely online. Because of its importance during the pandemic, the social media segment will be weighted heavier as part of the overall rankings than last year. Lastly, we are ranking the vote for both House Speaker and Senate Majority leader based on the leadership candidate’s Overall Ranking in 2020. Those who voted for Joe Shekarchi to become Speaker will be penalized in this metric, as he received a “poor” rating overall from RI Rank in 2020. No other candidate for the leadership positions (eg. Blake Filippi, Dominick Ruggerio, etc.) ranked “poor” or “excellent” in 2020, and so votes for these candidates neither gain nor lose points for the voting member.
Be aware that only legislators who held seats in 2020 will appear in our remaining 2021 rankings sets. Legislators who lost their seats will be included where applicable for completeness. Sometimes legislators will run again after losing their seat and it is important to enforce full accountability so voters have a complete interrupted picture of their past performance.