Elected Officials and Legislature and State Government and Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Government & Economic Development and Government and Economic Development

Fort Wayne's Wyss tops ranking of business-friendly lawmakers

May 15, 2010

State Sen. Thomas Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, is the General Assembly’s most business-friendly legislator, according to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. And House Speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, is the least.

Last week, the state chamber released its annual “Legislative Vote Analysis.” It evaluates how closely votes from each of Indiana’s 50 state senators and 100 representatives matched the chamber’s published agenda. Legislators whose votes match the chamber’s positions 70 percent of the time or more are eligible for endorsement by the chamber’s political action committee “Indiana Business for Responsive Government.”
 

Tom Wyss mug Wyss
Pat Bauer mug Bauer

Wyss’ votes aligned with the chamber’s positions 93 percent of the time in 2010, according to the analysis, and 90 percent of the time during the last two years. On the other extreme, Bauer voted in alignment with the chamber just 33 percent of the time in 2010, and 22 percent of the time during the last two years.

Republicans dominate the Indiana State Senate 33-17. By the chamber’s measure, of the 35 state senators that are pro-business, all but two of them are Republican. State Sens. John Broden, D-South Bend, and Sue Errington, D-Muncie, were the only exceptions. Broden’s 2010 score was 79 percent; Errington’s 81 percent.

Democrats hold a 52-48 majority in the Indiana House of Representatives. All of its Republican members scored 70 percent or more on the chamber’s scale, but none of its Democrats did. State Rep. Phil Pflum, D-Milton, scored highest among Democrats, voting in alignment with the chamber’s agenda 62 percent of the time in 2010.

In the Legislative Vote Analysis’ introduction, Chamber President Kevin Brinegar pointed out that the chamber couldn’t secure several of its priorities this year, such as local government consolidation or a ban against allowing workers to leave firearms locked in their vehicle trunks on company parking lots. But the chamber got the biggest item on its wish list: a delay in the payroll tax hike meant to shore up Indiana’s insolvent Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

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