AUSTIN, Texas - The state's largest business organization released its rankings of Texas lawmakers. The report card was calculated based on the business impact of the votes recorded by each member of the Texas House and Senate.
Twelve senators and 75 representatives "made the grade," according to the Texas Association of Business. Only Rep. Oscar Longoria, D-Mission, received a 100 percent score for his "pro-business" voting record on the seventeen bills used to determine the grades.
"Our biggest concern is that the business community hasn’t been as fully engaged and that’s allowed for low voter participation in primaries and it is allowing candidates that really haven’t been vetted through the business community to become office holders," CEO Jeff Moseley said. "So that is where the challenge is really on us to engage our members, to become more involved in voter education and get out the vote activities and conduct employer to employee dialogue."
The three most powerful legislators, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Straus, all Republicans, were not graded because they typically do not vote. Their influence on the votes, however, does weigh on the minds of the business community, which was openly critical of the "bathroom bill" and ban on sanctuary cities. Pieces of the sanctuary cities law, SB 4, took effect on Sept. 1. The bathroom bill passed the Senate, but stalled in the House.
"From time to time we'll have differences with a range of lawmakers," Moseley said. His 4,000 member organization is "motivated to become very involved in the primaries," as Texas gears up for the 2018 elections. Moseley expected to see pro-business voices attempting to connect with state leadership.
"Where does it stop when you have a state growing from 27 to 50 million," he asked, explaining that issues of workforce development, public schools, health, and other "constructive agenda" items.
Take a look at the report card here to see where your state lawmakers rank:
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