(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released its annual report scoring state legislators on how they voted on key business legislation in the recent General Assembly. The overall marks are lower this year – ranging from 33% to 90%.
“The purpose of the Legislative Vote Analysis is to show citizens and employers how their lawmakers voted on issues vital to the state’s economy,” says Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “The lower scores reflect that this General Assembly simply passed on too many economic opportunities by outright defeating vital legislation or letting the measures die. In addition, an unusually large number of bad bills were filed and moved through at least portions of the legislative process, diverting time and focus away from important business community priorities.”
Bills included for examination in the Legislative Vote Analysis can be traced back to the Indiana Chamber’s economic development plan, Indiana Vision 2025 (www.indianachamber.com/2025). The plan contains 37 goals in the four driver areas of Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure, and Dynamic and Creative Culture.
Among the legislation included in the report that became law: tobacco reforms to decrease the state’s smoking/vaping rate, health care cost transparency, unemployment insurance rate schedule certainty (before the current pandemic) and a model for enhancing regional development efforts.
“Lawmakers rightly got credit for passing these priority measures, but the report also held them accountable for what they left on the table,” Brinegar notes. “Policies like broadly recognizing occupational licenses earned outside Indiana, common sense township reforms and relaxing business personal tax assessment on depreciated equipment. All need to happen.”
The scores are available on the Indiana Chamber’s web site at www.indianachamber.com/lva.
Legislators who scored 70% or greater for the most recent four-year voting period are eligible for endorsement consideration by the Indiana Chamber’s political action committee, Indiana Business for Responsive Government.
Lawmakers are notified of the Indiana Chamber position and reasoning on the bills in this report through various communications during the legislative session – and prior to key votes being taken. Floor votes for which there is a public record are used in the Legislative Vote Analysis.
The Legislative Vote Analysis is distributed electronically to all legislators and Indiana Chamber board members, and made available online for all businesspersons, community leaders and citizens.
This marks the 36th year the Indiana Chamber has measured state legislators’ voting performance on bills that reflect the organization’s public policy positions.