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State chamber scores local legislators on business issues

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The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday released its annual report card scoring Springfield-area legislators based on how they voted on business issues in the latest session.

The chamber scored the legislators out of 100 percent, depending on how they voted on the organization’s legislative priorities, which included education, tort reform, economic development, taxes, labor policy, unemployment compensation and infrastructure, according to a news release.

Of the Springfield-area lawmakers, seven House members and five senators “demonstrated strong support of the business community” with a grade of at least 90 percent.

By 2018 rating, they are:
    •    Sen. Sandy Crawford, Republican, District 28, 100 percent, compared with a 100 percent cumulative career rating;
    •    Rep. Jeffery Justus, Republican, District 156, 100 percent, compared with 95 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Jeff Knight, Republican, District 129, 100 percent, compared with 100 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Lyle Rowland, 100 percent, Republican, District 155, 100 percent, compared with 92 percent cumulatively;
    •    Sen. David Sater, Republican, District 29, 100 percent, compared with 94 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Mike Stephens, Republican, District 128, 100 percent, compared with 98 percent cumulatively;
    •    Sen. Jay Wasson, Republican, District 20, 100 percent, compared with 97 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Kevin Austin, Republican, District 136, 95 percent, compared with 96 percent cumulatively;
    •    Sen. Mike Cunningham, Republican, District 33, 95 percent, compared with 95 percent cumulatively;
    •    Sen. Bob Dixon, Republican, District 30, 93 percent, compared with 98 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Sonya Anderson, Republican, District 131, 92 percent, compared with 91 percent cumulatively; and
    •    Rep. Elijah Haahr, Republican, District 134, 92 percent, compared with 81 percent cumulatively.

Ten others scored below 90 percent, according to the release.

By 2018 rating, they are:
    •    Rep Jared Taylor, Republican, District 139, 88 percent, compared with 84 percent cumulatively;
    •    Sen. Ron Richard, Republican, District 32, 88 percent, compared with 99 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Lynn Morris, Republican, District 140, 87 percent, compared with 87 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Don Phillips, Republican, District 138, 85 percent, compared with 87 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Lyndall Fraker, Republican, District 137, 83 percent, compared with 94 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, Republican, District 158, 80 percent, compared with 84 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Steve Helms, Republican, District 135, 77 percent, compared with 85 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Curtis Trent, Republican, District 133, 75 percent, compared with 85 percent cumulatively;
    •    Rep. Crystal Quade, Democrat, District 132, 39 percent, compared with 34 percent cumulatively; and
    •    Rep. Jeffrey Messenger, Republican, District 130, 25 percent, compared with 83 percent cumulatively.

According to the release, 57 legislators scored a rating of 90 percent or above. Seven senators and 16 representatives scored a 100 percent rating.

“There were many important votes cast in the 2018 legislative session, providing lawmakers with a clear choice between supporting employers and job creation or not. These rankings give us a strong tool to delineate which legislators are committed to protecting Missouri’s business climate and which are working against that goal,” said Dan Mehan, state chamber president and CEO, in the release. “We urge employers to use this information to talk with their local legislators about their votes and why their positions on these business issues are so critical to the economic health of Missouri.

“Most importantly, we hope they will use these ratings as a guide when visiting the ballot box on Nov. 6.”

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