Sen. Sharp holds highest average REID score in legislature

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

OKLAHOMA CITY – Each year, the Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) analyzes bills concerning business, job creation and economic growth and then grades legislators on their votes. Scores are released in the annual REID Report, and Sen. Ron Sharp had the highest cumulative score, a 96, in the Oklahoma State Legislature. One other legislator, Sen. Tom Dugger, R-Stillwater, also has a 96 but has only been in the legislature three years, while Sharp has been in seven years.

“I’m proud to support legislation to strengthen Oklahoma businesses and our economy,” said Sharp. “A thriving business sector is what financially supports our state agencies and their public services so it’s a win-win. Not only are we helping create and keep jobs in the state but we’re also helping create more revenue to pay for the vital state services that citizens depend on daily.”

Under the RIED evaluation system, legislators earn positive points when they support job creation and economic development issues. Points are deducted when they introduce or vote for legislation that negatively impacts Oklahoma’s business climate. A score of 70 and above represents a passing grade while 69 and below represents a failing grade.

This year, Sharp received a score of 87, his lowest to date, but the Shawnee Republican explained it was because REID opposed the Freedom of Pharmacy bill. Sharp supported the bill because it could potentially lower pharmaceutical prices with the added competition of independent pharmacists.

During the 2019 session, 119 of the 149 legislative members received passing scores of 70 or higher representing over two-thirds of the total membership, and making it one of the highest percentages of passing scores in the RIED Report’s 22-year history.