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The Rev. Gene Mills, president of Louisiana Family Forum, during meeting of the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force at the State Capitol on Friday, June 17, 2016. The task force is seeking ways of bringing down the state's prison population.

Advocate Photo by Travis Spradling

Louisiana Family Forum, the powerful religiously based lobbyists, released its legislative scorecard Friday, ranking the state’s 144 legislators.

Family Forum rated legislators on whether they voted the way the group wanted on nine bills for senators and 11 measures for representatives.

"We encourage Louisiana residents to use this tool to analyze how their lawmakers represented their family's values,” said the Rev. Gene Mills, who is president of the Family Forum, in a press release.

That generally lined up along party lines with 37 Republican House members supporting Family Forum positions more than 80 percent of the time – 16 of whom voted with the group 100 percent of the time.

The highest rated Democrat was Rep. Neil Abramson, of New Orleans, with 75 percent. Twenty-eight House Democrats agreed with Family Forum half the time or less.

The issues included opposing legislation that would allow quicker divorces for couples with children and prohibitions against corporal punishment as well as voting against the state budget, which Family Forum referred to as creating “fiscal crisis allocating expenditures without assurance of sufficient expected revenue.”

The seminal vote on the state budget for this fiscal year was on an amendment that passed 53-50. The vote took place six days into an overtime session called after lawmakers couldn’t come to a compromise during the regularly allotted time.

State senators were judged by whether they opposed non-discrimination clauses on sexual orientation grounds and on surveying school children on their sexual behavior, among other issues.

Ten senators, one of whom was a Democrat, backed every Family Forum position. Three of the four senators from New Orleans were considered “hostile” to the Family Forum.

The group plans to hand out awards to the lawmakers who ranked highest on their scorecard at the 18th Annual Legislative Awards Gala on Sept. 21.

This year, we will honor 26 state senators and representatives as “Outstanding Family Advocates” and 52 legislators will be named “Family Advocates.”

The 2017 Legislative Scorecard is available online at www.lafamilyforum.org/action