The scorecard rated delegates based on their votes on legislation and their stances on issues the Chamber deemed important to the business community. Factors that affected the scores include: bill sponsorship, speaking for or against bills and committee votes.
The Chamber gave Jasperse a C and Meadows an A for the decisions they made in the 2011 legislative session. Jasperse scored a C; his votes matched the preferences of the Chamber 71 percent of the time. Meadows voted with the Chamber 90 percent of the time.
This is the first year the Chamber has included letter grades in the report. The grades ranged from A to U (for unsatisfactory).
Topics this year varied from health care, the Hope scholarship and employment to Sunday alcohol sales.
Jasperse said his score was a reflection of missing four votes due to illness or only voting once on a bill. He explained that he backed the Chamber on House Bills 47, 167, 292, and 232, which he did not vote on.
He said he disagreed with the Chamber’s preferences on Senate Bills 17 and 10.
According to the Chamber website, SB 17 propose the creation of a special advisory commission to review proposed and existing health insurance mandates, and make recommendations on existing mandates by the end of 2012.
“We’ve got plenty of commissions, that’s our job … I cannot see a reason to have another one (commission),” said Jasperse.
On Sunday sales of alcohol (SB 10), Jasperse voted against the Chamber on legislation that supports the purchasing of sale and alcohol on Sunday. Jasperse said his choice to vote against Sunday alcohol was based on public opinion.
Meadows missed one vote but backed the Chamber’s agenda on every issue except HB 167, which was opposed by the Chamber.
Meadows said the bill would let small private companies pool their medical insurance plans to help Georgians buy health insurance and cut premium costs.
“It (HB 167) would put third party insurers under the same page and they would have to pay in a timely manner,” said Meadows.
According to the Chamber, the bill would erode “current employer protections under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)” by changing Georgia’s prompt payment law.
Unsatisfactory ratings (U) went to state Reps. Barbara Massey Reece, D-Menlo, and Rick Crawford, D-Cedartown.
For more information about these bills and the Chamber’s scorecard, visit www.gachamber.com.