ACUF’s 2017 Tenn. State Ratings: On track to be year’s top scorer

ACU-logoThe American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings for the 2017 meeting of the Tennessee General Assembly. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the legislature as well as individual members’ prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect Tennesseans.

The ACUF has reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Representatives to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

Tennessee lawmakers took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session including the sale of alcohol during performances, firearm possession and suppressors, free speech, school choice, and abortion restrictions. The 2017 Tennessee General Assembly saw both chambers working closely together, passing a good number of bills in both the House and the Senate. In one or both chambers, lawmakers voted to:

  • Permit the sale and consumption of alcohol during performances at historic performing arts centers;
  • Allow individuals to carry firearms in boats and watercraft;
  • Allow the possession, transfer, or sale of firearm suppressors;
  • Prohibit “free speech zones” on college campuses, which limit First Amendment rights to specific areas;
  • Direct additional funding to state charter schools and strengthen their performance and accountability standards; and
  • Prohibit an abortion if a fetus is viable after 20 weeks (5 months).

The 2017 session was an unfailing success for the Tennessee General Assembly, maintaining the state’s reputation as one of the ACUF’s top conservative scorers throughout the year. The two chambers not only worked together to pass a handful of beneficial legislation this year but boosted their overall conservative score, suggesting the legislative body has seen moderate improvement this year. The Tennessee Senate’s average score increased by 6% points this year – from 80% in 2016 to 86% in 2017 – and the House’s score maintained its 2016 score of 70%.

The 2017 Ratings of Tennessee are attached to this email; you can also click here to view them online.

For questions or media inquiries regarding ACUF state ratings, email Jackie Anderson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the American Conservative Union Foundation, at