YOU’VE BEEN GRADED: LABI Releases 20th Scorecard


LABI releases 20th scorecard

Much more than fiscal cliff was reviewed

Marketing campaign linked to con-con push

It’s that time of year again — when kids are back in school, the Tigers are on the field and legislators get their report cards.

Well, it’s actually a scorecard — The Scorecard — and it’s making its 20th appearance in Capitoland thanks to the team over at the Louisiana Association of Business of Industry... Some lawmakers may not offer thanks, though, after seeing their scores.

Twenty-seven bills from this year’s Session-Palooza were used by LABI to calculate the 2019 scores and cumulative averages of our representatives and senators. (Out of more than 2,500 bills and resolutions that were filled during four legislative sessions.)

Prez Stephen Waguespack said some observers may find the prioritization of bills “surprising,” but only because the shadow of the fiscal cliff can still be seen. “We were promoting a broader pro-growth agenda,” he said, “and remain focused on long-term solution to our problems rather than short-term Band-Aids.”

After publishing 19 scorecards spanning just part of LABI’s long history, the team behind the business lobby approached this 20th edition determined to make it different. Money and technology were apparently two key elements, as both are being leveraged.

The performances posted by lawmakers in The Scorecard will be shared with voters, on the district level, through a digital campaign that launches today. (Check out this video.)

In conjunction with the The Scorecard rollout, there’s also an added emphasis on policy outreach by LABI, particularly for structural reforms. The issue of another constitutional convention is likewise in the talking points and related messaging could become more noticeable in the coming months.

For now, the scores take centerstage. It was a season of tough and sticky votes. Louisiana Checkbook, pension costs, Medicaid spending, ride-sharing and insurance rates are just a sampling of the issues LABI worked on in 2018, which Waguespack described as a “year filled with contention and frustration.”

So who had perfect scores?

— Pulling from the 39-member Senate and the 105-member House, LABI identified 24 “most valuable players” who had 100 percent “pro-business” voting records this year.

Who were they?

— The Senate MVPs include Conrad Appel, Jack Donahue, Sharon Hewitt, Beth Mizell, Barrow Peacock, Mike Walsworth and Bodi White.

— The House MVPs are Mark Abraham, Beryl Amedée, Thomas Carmody, Pat Connick, Phillip DeVillier, Rick Edmonds, Julie Emerson, Raymond Garofalo, Dodie Horton, Nancy Landry, Tanner Magee, Jack McFarland, Blake Miguez, Scott Simon, John Stefanski, Kirk Talbot and Polly Thomas.

What about the lowest score in the Senate?

— That was a 10 percent showing by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson.

What about the lowest score in the House? And the “all-star” and “honorable mention” recipients?

— Want those answers? Read The Scorecard.

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