Veto session in September may alter some lawmakers’ marks
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry today released its 2014 Vote Record. This annual ranking provides the business community with a measure of how lawmakers voted on a comprehensive list of important economic issues in the 2014 legislative session. This year’s report provides preliminary grades. Lawmakers’ grades will be re-tabulated following the 2014 Veto Session in September.
“We are providing a preliminary grade card that Missouri voters can evaluate prior to the upcoming primary election,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “During an election year it is vitally important to let Missourians know who is voting to protect our state’s jobs and who is voting to harm our economy.”
To compile this tool, the Missouri Chamber selected the most critical votes of the legislative session, weighed the votes based on their importance to Missouri employers, and established a rating for each Missouri legislator. The bills were chosen based on the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s legislative priorities, which are set by policy councils made up of business owners and executives from around the state. The priorities are then approved by the organization’s board of directors. The votes cover a wide spectrum, including education, tax, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, economic development, tort, employment law, labor and environmental policy.
Seventy legislators showed strong support for Missouri’s employers, ending the year with a 90 percent vote rating and above.
“These lawmakers made good on campaign promises to protect Missouri jobs,” Mehan said. “Eighteen lawmakers went the extra mile to earn a 100 percent vote rating, voting in support of Missouri employers in every case.”
Lawmakers who earned a 100 percent rating in 2014 include: Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, Rep. Charlie Davis, Sen. Tom Dempsey, Rep. Denny Hoskins, Rep. Jay Houghton, Sen. Mike Kehoe, Rep. Mike Lair, Rep. Bill Lant, Rep. Steve Lynch, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, Sen. David Pearce, Rep. Don Phillips, Sen. Ron Richard, Sen. Gary Romine, Rep. Noel Shull, Rep. Kathy Swan, Rep. Nate Walker, Sen. Wayne Wallingord.
While the 2014 Missouri Chamber Legislative Vote Record shows strong support by pro-jobs lawmakers, the report also shows disturbingly weak support on the other end of the scale. Sixty-seven lawmakers are failing Missouri workers and employers with a grade of 70 percent and below.
“The Missouri Chamber Vote Record demonstrates that elections matter and who Missourians are voting into office makes a difference in the economic health of our state,” Mehan said. “An important part of the Missouri Chamber’s advocacy strategy is to hold lawmakers accountable through political action. The Missouri Chamber Legislative Vote Record plays an important role in campaign endorsement decisions for incumbent legislators.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.