The Virginia Chamber of Commerce released their 2019 Legislative Report Card yesterday which grades members of the General Assembly on legislation related to key business issues. The Report Card mentions that legislation defeated by Republicans saved small and large businesses over $17 billion in new costs and protected over 150,000 Virginia jobs.
Legislators were scored on their position for bills that would keep Virginia’s economy strong, such as the creation of the Tech Talent Investment Program, offering more health care choices for consumers, and tax reform. They received negative marks for bills that would cost Virginia jobs and have an adverse affect on our economic growth and competitiveness.
The average score for House Republicans was 96.8, while the average score for House Democrats was 70.8 — barely above passing. In total, 8 House Democrats were given “F” grades by the Chamber.
Two notable House Democrats who received “F” grades are Lee Carter (D-Manassas) and Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William). Both are facing strong challengers and are struggling to hold their seats this November. Del. Carter carried House Bill 1806 which would have repealed Virginia’s Right-to-Work law. Del. Guzman was the chief co-sponsor of House Democrat’s version of the Green New Deal that would increase energy costs for all Virginians.
Carter was noticeably missing from a press release Wednesday in which Governor Northam announced 105 new jobs in his district. Republican Mayor Hal Parrish, who supports Carter’s Republican challenger Ian Lovejoy, was quoted prominently in the release.
“Republicans have worked hard to ensure that our Commonwealth is the best place for people to live, work, and do business,” said Speaker Kirk Cox. “I’m proud to see the ratings of our Republican majority in this report card. Whether it’s our investments in education or our work to remove outdated or unnecessary regulations, we’ve put Virginia’s economy first.
“These ratings for Democrat candidates are appalling, but not surprising,” said Majority Leader Todd Gilbert. “From the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to their resistance to common-sense tax relief, House Democrats have made it clear that they care more about left-wing issue groups than they do the hard-working men and women of Virginia who need jobs. Our economy is booming. The single-fastest way to end that prosperity is to put Democrats in complete control of Virginia government.
“Virginia is a national model for how to attract and retain businesses of all industries through lower taxes, reducing burdensome regulations, and less intrusion into the private sector,” said Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo. “The November elections are a clear contrast between continuing Virginia’s economic growth or stifling our businesses and job creators.”
“Jobs and the economy are a top issue for all Virginians, and the Chamber’s grades reflect that Republicans are working to grow our economy,” said Majority Whip Nick Rush. “The number of Democrats who received failing grades highlights what’s at stake this November. House Republicans want to see our economy continue to grow remain the top state to do business.”
“These Chamber grades are well earned by both sides. Republicans work nonstop to bring opportunity to every corner of the Commonwealth, while Democrats are all-in to shrink our economy and send good paying jobs to other states. Virginians are working, unemployment is low, and we’ve been able to make critical investments in education without raising taxes,” said Commerce and Labor Committee Chairman Terry Kilgore.