Six Legislators in the Panhandle Earned an “A”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce today released the actual grades earned by all members of the House and Senate on the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card. For the panhandle region, six legislators earned “A” grades:

  • Sen. Greg Evers
  • Rep. Doug Broxson
  • Rep. Brad Drake
  • Rep. Mike Hill
  • Rep. Clay Ingram
  • Rep. Jay Trumbull

After tabulating more than 3,384 votes cast during the 2015 regular and special legislative sessions, nearly 54 percent of state lawmakers earned an “A” (90-100) on the priority pro-jobs issues outlined in the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Business Agenda. In comparison, 3,384 actual scored votes is approximately half of the scored votes as in previous years.

The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to honor and recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through private-sector job creation above special interests attempts to protect the status quo.

“Despite philosophical differences, lawmakers passed 20 Florida Chamber-backed measures during the two recent legislative sessions,” said Steve Knopik, Chair of the Florida Chamber and CEO of Beall’s, Inc. “Unfortunately, there were a number of missed opportunities, resulting in fewer votes taken on issues that could help make Florida more competitive.”

The Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card is an online tool that illuminates grades legislators earned based on their support of pro-jobs, pro-business issues during the annual legislative session.

Analytics from the Florida Chamber’s 2015 Legislative Report Card reveal:

  • 20 Senators earned an “A” – remaining steady from 2013 and 2014,
  • 61 Representatives earned an “A” – down from 71 last year, and
  • Grade Point Average for Representatives was 83 percent and 89 percent for Senators – down from 87 percent and up from 88.7 percent respectively last year.

The Florida Chamber will soon release How They Voted 2015, a detailed annual report summarizing the priorities of the recent legislative sessions and incorporating the 2015 Legislative Report Card.

Florida Chamber Applauds 9 Lawmakers But Mourns ‘Missed Opportunities’

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has released its annual report card, a list of which lawmakers have found favor with the business group and which fell short.

Eight Senators and one member of the House voted 100 percent in line with the Chamber’s agenda, including a tax cut package and some of the health care bills (though notably not the FHIX plan to subsidize health insurance for the poor).

Perhaps that’s one of the “missed opportunities” Chamber chairman Steve Knopik is referring to in a statement released with the rankings.

“Despite philosophical differences, lawmakers passed 20 Florida Chamber-backed measures during the two recent legislative sessions,” Knopik said. “Unfortunately, there were a number of missed opportunities, resulting in fewer votes taken on issues that could help make Florida more competitive.”

Here’s which lawmakers cracked the top of the charts with perfect scores:

  • Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne
  • Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker
  • Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah
  • Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando
  • Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville
  • Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, who got an extra thumbs-up from the Chamber for his votes in the House before switching chambers in April
  • Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples
  • Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando
  • Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights

Still, there are others the Chamber wasn’t so pleased with. Like House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach, who voted with the group just 33 percent of the time.

You can peruse the full list on the Chamber’s website, if that’s your thing.