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Florida Chamber releases 2010 legislative ratings

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Just a couple of insights after reviewing the Florida Chamber’s ratings:
***State Sen. Dan Gelber had the second lowest rating of his colleagues, so he must be doing something right.
***The Chamber’s ratings gave extra weight to how a legislator voted on SB6.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce released the 2010 Legislative Report Card, which grades legislators based on their support of pro-job and pro-business issues during the legislative session. These highly anticipated grades are calculated annually based on legislators’ voting records on the issues outlined in the Florida Chamber’s 2010 Florida Business Agenda and are available for review at www.FloridaChamber.com/2010ReportCard.
“The Florida Chamber’s 2010 Legislative Report Card is an invaluable tool for every business owner and voter in the state,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson. “Not only is it a one-stop source for employers and their employees to find out which legislators support the business community as a whole, the online Report Card also provides a breakdown of how each individual legislator voted on specific issues in the Florida Business Agenda to earn his or her grade.”
This year, 56 percent of the Florida Legislature earned an “A” (score of 90-100) on the Legislative Report Card, in comparison to 46 percent last year. In the Florida House, 68 legislators earned an “A,” an increase from 65 last year. The Florida Senate continues to improve significantly, as a record-breaking 21 senators earned an “A” this year, compared to only nine senators in 2009 and seven in 2008.
Prior to session, legislators received Where We Stand, a report detailing Florida’s Business Agenda. This publication includes position papers on each issue, as well as information about the Legislative Report Card and grading criteria.
“After session, we let Florida’s employers know how legislators voted on their priorities, giving our members a comprehensive guide to follow when supporting future campaigns,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Former Speaker of the House and Chair-Elect of the Florida Chamber Board of Directors Allan Bense added, “Particularly in an election year, it is so important for business leaders to know which legislators are working to protect their interests.”
The grade earned by a legislator is calculated by dividing the total number of times a legislator voted “for” the Chamber’s position by the total number of times a legislator cast a vote on Florida Business Agenda issues – on the floor, in committee and on amendments.
In the coming weeks, the Florida Chamber will release How They Voted 2010, a detailed publication summarizing the priorities of the Legislative Session and incorporating the 2010 Legislative Report Card. To view the Florida Chamber’s complete online Legislative Report Card, please visit www.FloridaChamber.com/2010ReportCard.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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