Politics

Mass. has the least conservative legislature in the country, says new CPAC report

Republicans, after all, are largely outnumbered on Beacon Hill.

The Massachusetts State House.
The Massachusetts State House. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Republicans in Mass.

This likely comes as no surprise.

Massachusetts state lawmakers have supported the conservative position on bills at a lower rate than any other state legislature in the country, a new report from the Conservative Political Action Coalition says.

In keeping with the Bay State’s reputation as one of the nation’s most liberal states, Massachusetts lawmakers voted with the “conservative position” 15 percent of the time in 2021 — a far cry from Alabama lawmakers, who garnered the highest rate at 74 percent, the CPAC report, released Tuesday, says.

CPAC’s Center for Legislative Accountability examined the nation’s 7,400 state lawmakers and their 265,000 individual votes on 3,500 bills in state capitols around the country to determine the ranking.

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And New England states were largely among the least conservative.

Rhode Island ranked 48th, Vermont 45th, and, Connecticut 42nd. Of the more conservative states in the region, Maine ranked 34th and New Hampshire 30th, with lawmaker votes voting conservative most, or 51 percent, of the time.

Overall, CPAC says the latest version of its annual review revealed a “record new level of political polarization.”

“The nation’s 3,906 Republican state lawmakers voted conservative 80.89 percent of the time last year compared to 76.41 percent in 2020. The 3,223 Democrat lawmakers across the 50 state legislatures voted with the conservative position 15.90 percent of the time, down from 18.72 percent in 2020,” CPAC said in a statement. “The 64.99 percentage point divide between the two political parties marks the highest level of political polarization since the CLA became the first and only organization to track such data in 2015.”

In Massachusetts, Republicans in state government are greatly outnumbered.

With last month’s election, the GOP now has fewer than 30 seats of the Legislature’s 200 total seats heading into the new legislative session. The losses turned up the heat for a party plagued with in-fighting, as some party officials are considering a change in the MassGOP’s leadership.

Regardless, among those taking office next month will be Democratic Gov.-elect Maura Healey, succeeding outgoing Republican moderate Gov. Charlie Baker, who has been consistently lauded as the nation’s most popular governor.

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