BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) released its 2021 Legislative Scorecard, highlighting legislators inside the State Capitol who supported pro-business legislation in this year’s regular session.
LABI, the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturing association, worked with a bipartisan group of legislators, stakeholders and local collectors to create a plan for a centralized sales tax system in Louisiana—one which would streamline tax collection to make the state more competitive and business friendly. The passing of this bill, among others, was considered when tallying the scores of legislators.
“It was a vital objective of LABI’s to pass the bill for a centralized sales tax collection, and many men and women at the Capitol worked tirelessly to make that happen,” said Stephen Waguespack, president and CEO of LABI, who notes that its constitutional amendment must still be approved by voters on November 13. “Our Legislative Scorecard highlights the champions of this legislation, as well as others, who voted for a better business future.”
In addition to a centralized sales tax plan, legislators also passed bills to simplify Louisiana’s tax code while tackling transportation funding, transparency and education recovery solutions. This year’s LABI Scorecard spotlights those game-changing issues and the legislators who supported them.
“This legislative session produced some huge wins for Louisiana businesses, including the largest increase in infrastructure investment in nearly 40 years,” said Terry Baugh, chairman of the board for LABI. “Thankfully, this Legislature recognized the current condition of roads and bridges across our state as an impediment to economic competitiveness and chose to be bold in addressing it.”
In the end, votes on 16 key bills were scored, issues prioritized by LABI members with their expertise and input through a number of issue councils, and cemented in LABI’s annual Program of Work that guides the organization’s advocacy. The criteria outlined in the Program of Work determines the weight each piece of legislation carries throughout the session and guides the final votes selected for the annual analysis.
The Scorecard, which for decades has served as a valuable tool for LABI members and the public in knowing where Louisiana’s legislators stand on game-changing business issues, is also featured as a special section within the pages of LABI’s new statewide business publication, 5th & Main, which hits mailboxes this week. It can also be read digitally here.
“Our Louisiana Legislature enacted meaningful bipartisan measures that will truly help shape a better climate for economic opportunity: meaning jobs for Louisiana,” said Waguespack. “I urge you to look over our scorecard, and help us celebrate our champions of free enterprise at such a critical time for our economic recovery.”
For more information on the pair of tax reform amendments on the November 13 ballot, visit untanglemytaxes.org.
2021 SESSION CHAMPIONS
This year, ten lawmakers from the Northwest Region scored above 80 percent on bills LABI identified as important to Louisiana businesses.
Leading those high scores, seven Northwest legislators were named as “Most Valuable Policymakers” (MVPs), scoring a perfect 100 percent on bills important to LABI and the state’s business community. Those members are:
- Sen. Robert Mills (R-Minden)
- Sen. Barry Milligan (R-Shreveport)
- Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City)
- Rep. Thomas Pressly (R-Shreveport)
- Rep. Raymond Crews (R-Bossier City)
- Rep. Wayne McMahen (R-Minden)
- Rep. Danny McCormick (R-Oil City)
One area legislator, Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport), earned the ranking of “All-Star,” scoring 90 percent or higher on legislation important to LABI and the state’s employers during both sessions. Legislators earning “Honorable Mentions,” scoring 80 percent or higher on legislation important to LABI and its members are Rep. Larry Bagley (R-Stonewall) and Rep. Dodie Horton (R-Haughton).
This year’s LABI MVPs, All-Stars and Honorable Mentions will be honored by LABI members on November 11, 2021, at the annual LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception alongside other businesses and individuals who have proven their exemplary commitment and contributions to their local communities and improving the state’s business climate. More information on the LABI Free Enterprise Awards reception can be found at https://labi.org/events/business-boots/
LABI encourages Louisianans to visit https://labi.org/research/score-card/ to review this year’s report explaining LABI’s 2021 priorities, the outcomes of the recent sessions, descriptions of the bills used in the Scorecard analysis, the individual legislative scores and the detailed methodology behind the scores. Printable posters of legislative scores are also available by region and can be downloaded on the LABI website.