LABI releases ‘Legislative Scorecard’
Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) has released its 2020 Legislative Scorecard, highlighting the lawmakers and leaders inside the State Capitol who supported pro-business legislation in both this year’s regular session and the first special session.
This edition of the Scorecard details the votes taken on 19 key bills that have a tremendous impact on Louisiana’s economy, business climate, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report gives citizens an inside look at what happens in Baton Rouge and how the actions taken by the Legislature impact the state’s working families and job creators.
“The story of these legislative sessions is one of broad, bipartisan consensus on important issues,” said LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack. “Time and time again, we saw Republicans, Democrats, and Independents come together to support common-sense measures that both help businesses recover in the short-term, and start the process of breaking down the persistent barriers to business growth that have held Louisiana back for decades.”
During both the regular and special sessions, legislators addressed the business community’s concerns about COVID-19 liability relief, put $275 million towards direct small business assistance, passed regulatory and tax relief measures and took a meaningful step forward in improving Louisiana’s broken legal system and rebuilding a competitive auto insurance marketplace.
“This new legislature has shown they are not afraid to buck the status quo of state government and embrace bold solutions and innovative ideas rooted in the principles of free enterprise,” Waguespack said. “Going forward, we’re going to face even more challenges associated with the pandemic and rebuilding Louisiana’s shattered economy, but as this document shows, we have a very new, inspiring body of lawmakers with which to work.”
Each year, LABI works with an engaged membership to determine the issues most important to Louisiana’s economy and subsequently develop an annual Program of Work to guide policy development and advocacy efforts in state government. The criteria outlined in the Program of Work determines the weight each piece of legislation carries throughout the session and guides the final votes selected for the annual analysis.
This year, a record 97 lawmakers (nearly 70 percent of the entire body) scored above 80 percent on bills LABI identified as important to Louisiana businesses. By comparison, in 2019, LABI recognized 67 members as “Session Champions.” This drastic increase clearly demonstrates the new legislature’s commitment to growing Louisiana’s economy. (Note: To be eligible for a score, members had to be present and voting on at least 80 percent of the bills scored by LABI).
Leading those high scores, a record 69 legislators (nearly 50 percent of the entire body) were named as “Most Valuable Policymakers” (MVPs), scoring a perfect 100 percent on bills important to LABI and the state’s business community during both sessions.
Overall, 20 legislators earned the ranking of “All-Stars,” scoring 90 percent or higher on legislation important to LABI and the state’s employers during both sessions. All-Star members from the Northshore included State Sen. Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton) and State Rep. Nicholas Muscarello (R-Hammond).
State Rep. Malinda White (D-Bogalusa) was named as an “Honorable Mention,” scoring 80 percent or higher on legislation important to LABI and its members during both sessions.
This year’s LABI MVPs, All-Stars and Honorable Mentions will be honored by LABI members on Nov. 12 at the fifth annual LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception alongside other businesses and individuals who have proven their exemplary commitment and contributions to their local communities and improving the state’s business climate. More information on the LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception can be found online at www.labi.org/events/free-enterprise-awards (Note: Schedule is tentative in accordance with public health guidelines).
The LABI encourages all Louisiana residents to visit online at www.labiscorecard.org to review this year’s report explaining LABI’s 2020 priorities, the outcomes of the recent sessions, descriptions of the bills used in the Scorecard analysis, the individual legislative scores and the detailed methodology behind the scores.