We’re Still Legislatively Speaking

The 2012 Indiana General Assembly session concluded on March 9. We’re wrapping up the post-session analysis over the next few weeks. Here’s the lineup of current and upcoming communications:

  • Take our blog poll (top right of this page) and give your grade on the lawmakers’ efforts
  • Members can look for the Chamber’s Final Legislative Report later this week, offering a full session recap of key priorities for Indiana companies and their employees as well as a scorecard of bill outcomes
  • Our April 6 Policy Issue Conference Call (members only). We’ll not only talk about the final week of the session, but shift gears to a busy primary election season. Sign up to listen in or ask questions of Chamber policy and political experts

Still to come after that are a session recap in the May-June BizVoice magazine, the annual Legislative Vote Analysis publication that grades legislators on their votes and a return on investment that calculates Chamber member savings from the positive policies passed and the costly measures that were defeated.

Adding Up the Legislative Votes

There are three key components whenever our 150 legislators gather for their annual lawmaking duties at the Indiana Statehouse:

  1. LEGISLATIVE session takes place
  2. Senators and reps VOTE on a wide variety of issues
  3. When it’s all over, we do the ANALYSIS

Put it all together and you have the Chamber’s annual Legislative Vote Analysis. For the 27th year, we tell you which legislators voted for the pro-economy, pro-jobs agenda and which attempted to stand in the way. It’s an involved process to compile all the votes on the identified issues for each legislator. But the result is a simple score.

The full analysis has all the individual votes on pages that contain an overload of +/- symbols. Then there are the bill descriptions for those who want to know exactly what each vote meant. But the bottom line is the one-page scoresheet that gives a score for 2011 and a two-year average.

You can also check out our BizVoice magazine story for some analysis. Pay attention! Thank the legislators with the high totals; for those who don’t measure up, insist that they do better.

Tallying the Statehouse Scores

There are not too many games of any type played in which no score is kept. And while one might argue that crafting the laws that apply to Indiana companies, their employees and all Hoosier citizens is no "game" in the traditional sense, the antics that go into that process would suggest otherwise.

No matter the terminology, legislators run for office vowing to serve their constituents. The Indiana Chamber represents nearly 5,000 business organizations with 800,000 employee constituents. The Chamber tells the lawmakers what bills it is tracking, the business community’s positions on those important issues, why specific bills are supported or opposed — and then we keep score on how they vote.

The tallies are contained in the annual Legislative Vote Analysis, released today. It has 2010 and two-year vote scores for all 150 members of the Indiana House and Senate. The goal: let those employers, employees and all Hoosier voters know which legislators are supporting pro-economic development, pro-jobs initiatives. It removes the talk and the posturing from the equation. The vote totals speak loudly.

As the introductory letter asks: Was your legislator part of the solution or part of the problem? Scores range from a low of 33% (a certain long-time legislator from South Bend who doesn’t always vote because of his leadership position in the House) to a high of 93% (from a Fort Wayne-based senator). Overall, the totals are disappointing. Take a look for yourself, share the information with others and use it as a guide as the election process plays out this year for all 100 representatives and a portion of the senators.

Read today’s press release and access the full report.

Chamber President Speaks on Importance of Vote Analysis

Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar recently discussed the Chamber’s Legislative Vote Analysis on Inside Indiana Business. This analysis outlines how Indiana’s legislators voted on key issues that impact Indiana business. Brinegar invites you to use this as a guide to either encourage your legislators’ efforts, or to let them know they should work harder toward fostering a better business environment.

Copies of the report are sent to all Indiana Chamber members, thousands of businesspersons, all legislators and other community leaders across the state.

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How Did Your Legislators Vote in the 2008 Session?

Students will be bringing home their final report cards over the next few weeks as the school year comes to a close. Members of the Indiana General Assembly received their 2008 grades yesterday with the release of the Indiana Chamber’s 24th annual Legislative Vote Analysis.

The 2008 edition rates all 150 legislators on how supportive or unsupportive they were of issues important to businesses and their employees.
 
Each legislator receives a score based on how often his or her votes align with the pro-jobs, pro-economic growth agenda. In addition to being published and distributed statewide, the scores are used to help determine which incumbent legislators are eligible for endorsement in their next campaign by Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG) – the Chamber’s political action committee.
 
Find the full report here or read the press release.

Counting the Votes at the Statehouse

Over the course of the year the Indiana Chamber distributes more than a few communications — from electronic newsletters and legislative updates to regulatory compliance publications and BizVoice magazines.

An always popular offering is the annual Legislative Vote Analysis. The 2008 edition will be released later this month. It will include scores for all 150 state legislators on their support of the Chamber’s and its members’ pro-business, pro-jobs agenda. Indiana Business for Responsive Government, the Chamber’s political action committee, uses the voting percentages as a factor in determining election endorsements.

The numbers always prove interesting. You can take a look back at the 2007 edition and look forward to the 2008 results within the next two weeks.