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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 26, 2003 16 years ago

Legislature: How They Rated

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce reviewed each legislator's votes during the session, or sessions as seen earlier this year, and assigned each one a letter grade based on how their votes affect the business community.

Legislature: How They Rated

The Florida Chamber of Commerce reviewed each legislator's votes during the session, or sessions as seen earlier this year, and assigned each one a letter grade based on how their votes affect the business community.

Of the 30 elected officials serving Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties, most fared well (22 received an A or B). Only four legislators received an F and one a D. Those five were Democrats.

Four local legislators, all Republican senators, received a C. They are Mike Bennett, Sarasota; Lisa Carlton, Osprey; Mike Fasano, New Port Richey; and Dennis Jones, Seminole.

The highest grade for Gulf Coast area legislators went to Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, whose district included parts of Hillsborough County. He earned a 110 grade point average. He earned the highest accolades for his work in the area of insurance reform. The second highest score went to Rep. Donna Clarke, R-Sarasota. She posted a GPA of 108 for her work in the areas tax reform and environmental permitting issues. Rep. Jerry Paul, R-Port Charlotte, was the only other regional legislator to break the 100 GPA barrior. He earned a 103 GPA for his work in the areas of insurance and wages and compensation issues.

At a Tallahassee awards ceremony earlier this month, Florida Chamber Chairman Fred Leonhard said, "Championing free enterprise is essential. When employers do well, employees do well. And when employees do well, communities and regions do well, and our state prospers."

House Speaker Designate Allan Bense, (R-Panama City), said it's clearly important for Florida to have a pro-business climate.

Six pro-business legislators were named 2003 Legislative Report Card valedictorians: They are House Speaker-designate Bense; Rep. Donald Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs; Sen. Anna Cowin, R-Leesburg; Rep. Bev Kilmer, R-Quincy; Rep. Joe Pickens, R-Palatka; and Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville.

For specifics on a legislator's voting record, visit the chamber's Web site at www.flchamber.com.

The Grades

The As

Rep. Tom Anderson, R, Holiday.

Rep. Kim Berfield, R, Clearwater.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R, Palm Harbor.

Rep. John Carassas, R, Largo.

Rep. Donna Clarke, R, Sarasota.

Rep. Faye Culp, R, Tampa.

Rep. Nancy Detert, R, Venice.

Rep. Frank Farkas, R, St. Petersburg.

Rep. Ken Littlefield, R, Zephyrhills.

Rep. Sandra Murman, R, Tampa.

Rep. Jerry Paul, R, Port Charlotte.

Rep. Ron Reagan, R, Sarasota.

Rep. Dennis Ross, R, Lakeland.

Rep. Leslie Waters, R, St. Petersburg.

The Bs

Rep. Kevin Ambler, R, Tampa.

Rep. Johnnie Byrd, R, Plant City.

Sen. Victor Crist, R, Tampa.

Rep. Bill Galvano, R, Bradenton.

Rep. Tim Homan, R, Tampa.

Sen. Tom Lee, R, Brandon.

Sen. Jim Sebesta, R, St. Petersburg.

The Cs

Sen. Mike Bennett, R, Sarasota

Sen. Lisa Carlton, R, Osprey.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R, New Port Richey.

Sen. Dennis Jones, R, Seminole.

The Ds

Sen. Les Miller, D, Tampa.

The Fs

Rep. Bob Henriquez, D, Tampa.

Rep. Arthenia Joyner, D, Tampa.

Rep. Charlie Justice, D, St. Petersburg.

Rep. Frank Peterman, D, St. Petersburg.

Source: The Florida Chamber

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