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State Chamber releases legislators’ scorecards

POSTED: May 5, 2014 9:06 p.m.

The Georgia Chamber has released its 2014 Legislative Scorecard, providing grades for members of the General Assembly based on their votes on certain pro-business measures considered during this year’s session.

In addition to the 2014 grades, the scorecard also reflects all legislators’ 2013 midterm assessments and final grades for the 2013-14 legislative term. Nearly every lawmaker in both the Georgia House and Senate earned a passing grade on this year’s scorecard.

State Rep. Jon Burns and state Sen. Jack Hill each earned A-plus ratings from the state Chamber, and state Rep. Bill Hitchens was given an A grade.

“Decisions Georgia legislators make at the Gold Dome have long-term impacts on our state’s economic prospects. General Assembly members’ overwhelming support for pro-business measures as reflected in this year’s scorecard prove that our Georgia lawmakers recognize the importance of passing job creation and economic development measures,” said Georgia Chamber president and CEO Chris Clark.  “The Georgia Chamber commends members of the General Assembly for their broad-based support from both sides of the aisle to enact legislation that enhances our state’s competitiveness.”

During the 2014 legislative session, the Georgia Chamber tracked more than 300 bills considered important to the state’s business community. Chamber members assigned scorecard status to those bills considered most important to Georgia’s future economic success in areas including economic development, legal reform, business and industry, environment and energy, and education.  Prior to votes being taken, the Chamber communicated its position on each bill to members of the General Assembly as well as the fact that the bills were eligible to be designated as “scorecard issues.”

Legislators were assigned final grades of A, B, C, or U based on their votes for each scorecard bill – seven votes in the state House and eight in the state Senate. To receive a grade, the legislator must have been present to vote for 50 percent of the total scorecard votes. If the legislator was not present for 50 percent of the votes, they received an “N/A” grade.

For some legislators, subjective factors were taken into account. Those factors include, but are not limited to: sponsoring bills, speaking for or against bills, voting in committees, offering amendments, intentionally missing a vote when scorecard status was communicated, and furthering the Chamber’s legislative priorities.

To see the scorecard, visit www.gachamber.com/2014_Scorecard_for_Website.pdf.

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