AIF gives highest marks to J.D. Alexander and lots of House members
Associated Industries of Florida on Thursday released a 2011 voting records report, analyzing 18,200 votes on 146 business-related bills. Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, received a perfect score of 100, along with 33 representatives. They're all now proud members of AIF's newly-created "100 Percent Club." Put another, 2.5 percent of the Senate voted in favor of AIF's agenda every time, and 27.5 percent of the House did.
The report also shows an "increasing gap" between Democrats and Republicans' voting records on pro-business legislation, with a 48 percent marging of difference topped only by the 2001 session's difference of 50 percent, according to an AIF news release.
Despite some predictions that this would be the most business-friendly Legislature, this session did not match the 2006 Legislative Session when both chambers combined for a 94 percent voting record in support of business issues," says AIF.
The major bills that split the parties: SB 736, the teacher merit pay bill; SB 408, the major property insurance reform bill; HB 7005, an unemployment compensation tax bill that reduced the number of benefits weeks; HB 7107, Medicaid reform; and SB 2100, reforms to the state’s pension system.
Other items of note:
Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples cast the most pro-business votes in the entire Senate, with 136.
Freshman Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, ranked highest among Democratic Senators with an 83 percent voting record.
Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, ranked lowest among Democrats, with 48 percent. Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, scored lowest among Republican Senators, with 74 percent.
In the House, Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne cast the most pro-business votes, siding 145 times with business interests.
Rep. John Julien of North Miami Beach led Democrats in the House, voting for AIF's agenda 64 percent of the time, while Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens, and Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, ranked at the bottom, voting only 30 percent of the time for pro-business legislation. Rep. Pafford voted more times against pro-business legislation than any other lawmaker, according to AIF.