BATON ROUGE, LA (October 20, 2016) – Today, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) released the 2016 edition of the Legislative Scorecard, highlighting votes taken by Louisiana lawmakers on dozens of measures that affect the state’s economy, employers, and business climate. Click HERE to view the Scorecard, methodology, and regional breakdowns.
The Legislature met for a record-setting 19 weeks in three separate sessions in 2016, and the LABI Legislative Scorecard provides Louisiana residents and the business community with valuable information on how their representatives voted at the Capitol and the practical impact of those votes.
Each year, LABI works with an engaged membership to determine the issues most important to the economy and develop an annual Program of Work that guides advocacy efforts at the Capitol. The criteria outlined in the Program of Work determines the importance of each piece of legislation throughout the session and ultimately the votes selected for the scorecard analysis.
The 2016 LABI Legislative Scorecard analyzes votes on bills seeking to raise taxes in ways that significantly damage the economy and the state’s competitiveness, establish new and costly mandates on employers, and worsen the state’s already poor legal climate. The Scorecard also rewards legislators that voted to grow a skilled workforce, reform expensive governmental pension systems, and move toward marketplace fairness for Louisiana’s small businesses.
Stephen Waguespack, LABI President and CEO stated, “The 2016 legislative sessions were especially challenging for taxpayers. While private-sector job losses mounted and Louisiana’s recession deepened, actions in the Capitol focused almost exclusively on increasing the role and spending of government. Going forward, LABI urges lawmakers to take a more comprehensive and balanced approach to budget challenges. Our economy will not withstand another legislative cycle where the wants of government trump the needs of taxpayers.”
The Legislative Scorecard not only holds legislators accountable, but it also serves as an annual medium through which members of the Louisiana Legislature can be recognized for their support of the state’s employers and workforce. Waguespack continued: “This year, a number of legislators deserve praise for consistently voting to prioritize the state’s economy, employers, and workers over the ever-expanding needs of state and local government.”
In 2016, five “LABI Most Valuable Policymakers” (MVPs) are being recognized for their perfect scores on major legislation that affected the state’s economy. Representatives Beryl Amedée (R-Houma), Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge), Julie Emerson (R-Carencro), Barry Ivey (R-Baton Rouge), and Nancy Landry (R-Lafayette) each voted to prioritize growth in the private-sector economy on 100 percent of the legislation important to LABI and the state’s employers.
Also recognized are the “LABI All-Stars,” four senators and eight representatives, who scored 90 percent or higher on the legislation selected for the Legislative Scorecard analysis. These legislators were also strong advocates for advancing a platform of positive, pro-growth measures to improve Louisiana’s economic climate.
For the first time, LABI recognized 14 additional “LABI Honorable Mention” legislators who scored 80 percent or higher on bills selected for the Legislative Scorecard analysis. The votes cast by these legislators also served to challenge the status quo in state government and prioritize the state’s economy.
While 2,782 bills and resolutions were filed across three legislative sessions, LABI analyzed 16 votes in the House and 16 in the Senate. The House averaged a score of 52 percent and the Senate averaged a score of 44 percent.
As part of the inaugural LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception on November 17, 2016, the LABI MVPs and All-Stars will be honored by LABI members alongside other businesses and individuals who have proven their exemplary commitment and contributions to the state’s business climate and their local communities. The recipients of LABI Honorable Mentions will also be recognized for their commitment to the state’s economy at the event. More information on the November 17th LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception can be found HERE.
LABI encourages the public to visit HERE to review the detailed publication explaining LABI’s 2016 priorities, the outcomes of the recent sessions, descriptions of the votes that were analyzed, and individual legislative scores and votes on each bill. Printable one-page reports of legislative scores are also available by region, and the detailed methodology behind the scorecard can be downloaded on the LABI website as well.
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About the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry was organized in 1975 to represent Louisiana businesses, serving as both the state chamber of commerce and state manufacturers association. LABI’s primary goal is to foster a climate for economic growth by championing the principles of the free enterprise system and representing the general interest of the business community through active involvement in the political, legislative, judicial and regulatory processes. Find out more information at www.labi.org.