Scorecard Highlights Results of Key Votes on Legislation Impacting Employers
Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) today released scores from its legislative scorecard for the 2015 regular legislative session, tracking the votes of individual members in both the House and Senate on specific legislative items LABI prioritized. LABI scored 28 bills in the House and 21 bills in the Senate in its compilation of the data.
LABI’s Legislative Scorecard is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Louisiana Legislature who supported a pro-growth agenda that will help expand Louisiana’s economy. The scorecard also identifies legislators who voted against LABI’s priorities, particularly the decision to raise taxes on employers and individuals by more than $600 million annually in 12 bills that the governor has subsequently signed into law.
“Throughout the regular legislative session, many lawmakers repeatedly insisted their only choice to fund higher education and health care was to raise taxes. We are disappointed that numerous legislators fell for this trap. The Legislature voted to prioritize an ever-growing government and increase taxes on small and large companies across the state,” Stephen Waguespack, president of LABI, said. “LABI’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard highlights how lawmakers voted on measures to reduce credits and incentives recognized by experts as vital to economic competitiveness, and provides voters with valuable information and direction in advance of the upcoming elections.”
According to LABI’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard:
- One senator earned an “A” down by seven from 2014,
- 11 representatives earned an “A” up from two last year,
- the average score for senators was 45 percent, and
- the average score for representatives was 54 percent.
In the past, legislators voting with LABI 75 percent or more have received an automatic endorsement in campaigns for re-election. After this session, however, LABI’s political action committees – NORTHPAC, EASTPAC, SOUTHPAC and WESTPAC – are considering changing the endorsement rules, effective immediately, allowing PAC members to consider more than this one threshold in order to endorse candidates.
LABI entered the 2015 legislative session by encouraging senators and representatives to focus on making Louisiana’s business climate more competitive. LABI’s 2015 Program of Work served as an important roadmap to educate legislators on the issues considered most important by LABI members and the business community as a whole.
Throughout session, as votes on priority issues approached, LABI staff, leadership, and members communicated with legislators indicating the importance of the vote to the business community.
While 1,947 bills and resolutions were filed, and 473 of them passed both chambers this year and were enacted by the governor as of July 1, LABI has a focused agenda and the actual votes used to calculate legislators’ scores are those votes that tie directly to LABI’s Program of Work.