Florida Chamber unveils 2014 Legislative Report Card

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On Thursday, the Florida Chamber of Commerce released a scorecard of all members of the House and Senate on the Florida Chamber’s 2014 Legislative Report Card.

Counting the 6,000 votes cast during the 2014 Legislative Session, almost 56 percent of state lawmakers earned an “A” (90-100 percent) voting record supporting the issues outlined in the Florida Chamber’s 2014 Business Agenda.

“When the Florida Chamber speaks, legislators want to know their opinion because they know what it takes to help Florida succeed,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford. “Job creators pay close attention because it takes a strong chamber and a strong legislature to pass bold initiatives.”

“Poll after poll shows that most Floridians are concerned about the economy,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber. “The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card lets Florida’s families and small businesses know if legislators voted in favor of job creation and a stronger economy.”

Hart also praised the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott for providing $500 million in tax relief and making strides in improving education, adding that they were key components of their overall competitiveness agenda.

According to the Florida Chamber’s 2014 Legislative Report Card:

  • 20 Senators earned an “A” – remaining steady from 2013
  • 71 Representatives earned an “A” – down from 73 last year
  • Grade-point average for Representatives was 87 percent and 88.7 percent for Senators

The Chamber’s jobs agenda — called Where We Stand – served as a roadmap to educate lawmakers on the state’s business priorities. Prior to each vote, lawmakers learned how it counts in relation to the Florida Chamber’s agenda. The charted results of each vote comprise the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

In the 2014 legislative session, 1,811 bills were filed, 264 of them passed both chambers. In the past three years, Scott has had a perfect score in signing all 82 Florida Chamber-backed bills into law.

“I’m extremely proud of the great work of the Florida Chamber’s board of directors, local chambers and the more than 30 lobbyists that have worked aggressively in support of free enterprise and job creation,” Hart said.

The Report Card, along with candidate interviews, prior voting records and input from members, provide the tools for the Chamber’s Political Operations team to use in the election endorsement process.

As the annual rankings are published, the Political Operations group, under the supervision of Senior Vice President of Political Operations Marian Johnson and Senior Director of Political Affairs Mike Grissom, will interview nearly legislative candidate running in the upcoming election cycle.

Coming soon is “How They Voted 2014,” a thorough summary of the priorities of the recent legislative session, which incorporate 2014 Legislative Report Card.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.