Ga. Chamber grades Coweta legislators

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has released its legislative scorecard for the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, and Coweta’s legislative representation received wildly different grades for their voting on bills marked favorable to business by the Georgia Chamber.

The Georgia Chamber, a statewide chamber of commerce, researches all bills introduced by the General Assembly and determines their importance to the business community of Georgia. Those issues deemed most important to job creation and the state’s economic recovery were designated as scorecard issues by the Government Affairs Council of the Georgia Chamber and individual legislators’ votes are included in this year’s Legislative Scorecard.

A legislator’s support of those identified bills was given a midterm assessment with a final grade given after the conclusion of the 2014 General Assembly session.  The grades are similar to school grades and include: A+ (100-95), A (94-90), B+ ( 89-85), B (84-80), C+ (79-75), C (74-70), U (Below 70 or Unsatisfactory), and N/A (Not Eligible for Score).

The details of the bills introduced and included in the scorecards are available on the web site www.gachamber.com. The bills include the areas of Business & Industry, (HB 154 and HB 361); Economic Development, (HB 318 and SB 224); Education & Workforce, (HB 188, HB 224 and HB 372); Health Care, (SB 24); and Judiciary, (HB 336 and SB 113).

Coweta Legislative Delegation Scores are:
·A+—Longtime District 70 Representative Lynn Smith received an A+ and sub-total at midyear assessment of 100 from the Georgia Chamber.
·N/A—District 71 Representative David Stover, new to the General Assembly, received an N/A or Not Eligible for a score since he wasn’t present for at least 50 percent of the votes.
·A+—District 72 Representative Matt Ramsey received an A+ and sub-total midyear assessment of 100.
·B+—District 132 Representative Carl Von Epps received a B+ and sub-total midyear assessment of 88.
·U—District 28 State Senator Mike Crane received U or Unsatisfactory with a sub-total mid-year assessment of 60.

“Our mission at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber is to be the voice of business in Coweta and to advocate for our business base with our elected representatives,” said chamber chair for 2013 Dean Jackson. “We have had a good response from our elected representatives whenever we have asked to meet with them to discuss concerns and issues and look forward to that continuing that through the end of the bi-annual session in 2014. We continue to work with our elected representatives to advance the goals of our business and services sectors and are confident we will improve our communications with our hard-working and business supportive elected representatives.”

The Georgia Chamber enjoyed a successful working relationship with state senators and representatives. In the 2013 Legislative Scorecard, only four senators of 56 received a score of “U” or Unsatisfactory and only two of 180 representatives received a score of “U”.

“Coweta County has an outstanding reputation of being a good place to live, work and play,” said Jackson. ”That’s why we are known as ‘Prosperity’s Front Door,’ and we greatly appreciate the effort our business community gives to create jobs, offer opportunities to shoppers and support the tax base necessary to keep Coweta an extraordinary place to be.” 

Chamber President and CEO Candace Boothby said, “We are fortunate to have citizens volunteer to work for us in the General Assembly and will continue to do our best to communicate with them the needs of our business community.”

“We are so appreciative of our representatives that have obviously shown their support to business. If we do a good job of educating our delegation we should achieve our goal of each of our legislators supporting business-friendly legislation,” said Dennis McEntire, immediate past chair of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber.

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