LABI Releases 2015 Legislative Scorecard

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) today released scores from its legislative scorecard for the 2015 regular legislative session, tracking the votes of individual members in both the House and Senate on specific legislative items LABI prioritized. LABI scored 28 bills in the House and 21 bills in the Senate in its compilation of the data.

LABI’s Legislative Scorecard is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Louisiana Legislature who supported a pro-growth agenda that will help expand Louisiana’s economy. The scorecard also identifies legislators who voted against LABI’s priorities, particularly the decision to raise taxes on employers and individuals by more than $600 million annually in 12 bills that the governor has subsequently signed into law.

“Throughout the regular legislative session, many lawmakers repeatedly insisted their only choice to fund higher education and health care was to raise taxes. We are disappointed that numerous legislators fell for this trap. The Legislature voted to prioritize an ever-growing government and increase taxes on small and large companies across the state,” Stephen Waguespack, president of LABI, said. “LABI’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard highlights how lawmakers voted on measures to reduce credits and incentives recognized by experts as vital to economic competitiveness, and provides voters with valuable information and direction in advance of the upcoming elections.”

“The LABI scorecard is a great resource for the businesses and voters in Louisiana,” Charles Trent, chair of WESTPAC, said. “It gives the most accurate look at who is truly business and who is not.”

According to LABI’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard:

  • •          One senator earned an “A” down by seven from 2014,
  • •          11 representatives earned an “A” up from two last year,
  • •          the average score for senators was 45 percent, and
  • •          the average score for representatives was 54 percent.

Nine senators and 27 representatives reside in the WESTPAC territory, which includes the surrounding parishes and cities of Alexandria, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, stretching to the Texas border in the west and the Gulf Coast in the south. Of these 36 legislators, none representing WESTPAC constituents achieved “Most Valuable Policymaker” (MVP) status in the 2015 LABI Scorecard by voting against 100 percent of the tax increases opposed by LABI.

However, three legislators in the WESTPAC territory – Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas; and Reps. Stuart Bishop and Nancy Landry, both republicans from Lafayette – did achieve “All-Star” status, which required a score of 90 percent or higher on all issues supported by LABI in 2015.

Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, earned the lowest score in the WESTPAC territory, voting to support the priorities of employers in the state just 16 percent in 2015. Montoucet also scored the lowest of any legislator in the state. Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, earned the lowest score (32 percent) among WESTPAC senators.

“It is disappointing that most legislators in our region of the state chose to maintain the size, cost and operations of state government over a pro-growth agenda and stronger economy,” Trent said. “We appreciate the efforts of Sen. Guillory and Reps. Bishop and Landry, and look forward to working with new and returning legislators to ensure that 2015 was only a temporary setback for Louisiana employers.”

In the past, legislators voting with LABI 75 percent or more have received an automatic endorsement in campaigns for re-election. After this session, however, LABI’s WESTPAC is considering changing its endorsement rules, effective immediately, allowing PAC members to consider more than this one threshold in order to endorse candidates.

LABI entered the 2015 legislative session by encouraging senators and representatives to focus on making Louisiana’s business climate more competitive. LABI’s 2015 Program of Work served as an important roadmap to educate legislators on the issues considered most important by LABI members and the business community as a whole.

Throughout session, as votes on priority issues approached, LABI staff, leadership, and members communicated with legislators indicating the importance of the vote to the business community.

While 1,947 bills and resolutions were filed, and 473 of them passed both chambers this year and were enacted by the governor as of July 1, LABI has a focused agenda and the actual votes used to calculate legislators’ scores are those votes that tie directly to LABI’s Program of Work.


2015 Scores Earned by Legislators Who Represent the WESTPAC Territory

Name

Party

2015 Score

Cumulative Score

Rep. Nancy Landry

R

92%

95%

Rep. Stuart Bishop

R

90%

94%

Sen. Elbert Guillory

R

90%

86%

Rep. Mike Huval

R

86%

86%

Rep. Taylor Barras

R

84%

83%

Sen. Page Cortez

R

64%

82%

Rep. Bob Hensgens

R

77%

82%

Rep. Blake Miguez

R

80%

80%

Rep. Johnny Guinn

R

84%

77%

Rep. Mike Danahay

D

70%

75%

Sen. Gerald Long

R

39%

74%

Rep. Lance Harris

R

39%

71%

Rep. Joel Robideaux

R

41%

70%

Sen. John Smith

R

70%

69%

Rep. Chuck Kleckley

R

36%

69%

Sen. Ronnie Johns

R

32%

67%

Rep. Brett Geymann

R

71%

67%

Sen. Jonathan Perry

R

85%

65%

Rep. Stephen Ortego

D

82%

65%

Rep. Frank Howard

R

63%

65%

Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish

R

39%

60%

Rep. Lowell “Chris” Hazel

R

61%

60%

Sen. Fred Mills

R

55%

55%

Rep. Terry Brown

Ind

44%

50%

Rep. Robert Johnson

D

81%

48%

Sen. Eric LaFleur

D

37%

47%

Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill

D

68%

47%

Rep. Ledricka Thierry

D

33%

40%

Rep. Vincent Pierre

D

29%

32%

Rep. Bernard LeBas

D

32%

30%

Rep. Mickey Guillory

D

23%

30%

Rep. James Armes

D

35%

28%

Rep. Foil Franklin

D

27%

26%

Rep. Jeffrey Hall

D

25%

25%

Rep. Terry Landry

D

24%

25%

Rep. Jack Montoucet

D

16%

24%


Click here to view 2015 Scorecard Snapshot