A number of area legislators were recognized as ‘valuable policymakers’ in the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s 2020 Legislative Scorecard last week.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or LABI, is the largest business lobby in the state.
Each year, LABI releases its scorecard to identify state lawmakers whose work or legislation at the State Capitol was beneficial to businesses.
Sixty-nine legislators scored a perfect 100 on bills important to LABI during the regular legislative session and special session.
Of the 69 legislators, seven were from northeastern Louisiana: state Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Monroe; Sen. Glen Womack, R-Harrisonburg; Rep. Michael Echols, R-Monroe; Rep. Foy Gadberry, R-West Monroe; Rep. Jack McFarland, R-Jonesboro; Rep. Neil Riser, R-Columbia; and Rep. Chris Turner, R-Ruston.
Local legislators earning LABI’s ranking of “All Star” for scoring 90 percent or higher on legislation important to LABI included Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe, and Rep. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi.
This year, LABI’s 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.
Waguespack continued, “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. 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.