Friday, May 25, 2012

Alaska Business Report Card Grades The 2012 Alaska State Legislature: State House Pro-Business, State Senate Anti-Business

In 2011, the Alaska Business Report Card, which includes the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Resource Development Council, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, and Prosperity Alaska, issued letter grades for the Governor and Alaska State Legislature both collectively and individually for the very first time in 2011. Categorically, Governor Sean Parnell got a B+, the Senate Majority Caucus got an F, the Senate Minority a B+, the House Majority Caucus an A-, and the House Minority a D.

Since it proved to be useful, the Alaska Business Report Card on the 2012 legislature has now been produced, much earlier this year in order that the information may be factored into voting decisions in the upcoming elections. According to the ABRC press release, the letter grades were computed through an average of each participating organization's scoring based upon their respective legislative priorities. Bill sponsorship, committee votes, floor votes, applicable actions taken in committee, and overall leadership in and outside the legislature were considered in the grading process.

The Winner -- The House Majority. Earned a grade of A-. They showed outstanding leadership and consistency on a variety of issues, including coastal zone management, litigation reform, Alaska transportation infrastructure policy, oil tax reform and solid activity on lower profile business issues. The House also cut the excessive capital budget that it finally received from the Senate in the closing days of the 2011 session and did not let itself get boxed by Senate trickery.

The Loser -- The Senate Majority. Earned a grade of F. While supposedly a bipartisan coalition, in practice it is dominated by a core group of anti-business senators who were an obstacle to passage of virtually every major piece of legislation important to the Alaska business community. Five specific examples are spelled out HERE. The important priorities that the Alaska Business Report Card group and its individual member organizations communicated to legislators at the outset of the 2011 and 2012 sessions nearly all passed the House, but then died in Senate committees, typically Senate Judiciary (Hollis French, Chair) or Senate Finance (Bert Stedman and Lyman Hoffman, co-chairs). Two of these three chairman are Democrats, while Stedman is a Republican. The first two should be prime targets for defeat in this upcoming election. The replacement of Bettye Davis by Anna Fairclough in the Senate will help significantly.

Categorical and individual letter grades follow after the jump (compare with the 2011 grades):

Categorical Grades:
Governor Sean Parnell:  B  
Senate Majority:        F  
Senate Minority:        A  
House Majority:         A-  
House Minority:         D 

Individual Senate Grades:

John Coghill (R-Fairbanks):        A- 
Bettye Davis (D-Anchorage):        D-  
Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River):        B  
Dennis Egan (D-Juneau):            F  
Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage):        F  
Hollis French (D-Anchorage):       F  
Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage):       A+  
Lyman Hoffman (D-Bethel):          F  
Charlie Huggins (R-Palmer):        A  
Albert Kookesh (D-Angoon):         F 
Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage):       B- 
Linda Menard (R-Wasilla):          B-  
Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage):         C  
Donald Olson (D-Nome):             D-  
Joe Paskvan (D-Fairbanks):         F  
Bert Stedman (R-Sitka):            F  
Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak):           F  
Joe Thomas (D-Fairbanks):          C-  
Thomas Wagoner (R-Kenai):          B 
Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage):   F 
Individual House Grades: 

Alan Austerman (R-Kodiak):         C  
Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski):         A+ 
Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage):       D  
Mia Costello (R-Anchorage):        A  
Alan Dick (R-Stony River):         B  
Mike Doogan (D-Anchorage):         D 
Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham):       D 
Anna Fairclough (R-Eagle River):   A  
Eric Feige (R-Chickaloon):         A-  
Neal Foster (D-Nome):              B-  
Les Gara (D-Anchorage):            F 
Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage):       F  
Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage):       C- 
David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks):    F  
Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage):         A+  
Bob Herron (D-Bethel):             C  
Lindsey Holmes (D-Anchorage):      D+ 
Kyle Johansen (R-Ketchikan):       B+ 
Craig Johnson (R-Anchorage):       A+ 
Reggie Joule (D-Kotzebue):         D+ 
Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks):      D-  
Wes Keller (R-Wasilla):            B+  
Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau):          F  
Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage):            B+  
Bob Miller (D-Anchorage):          F  
Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage):    B+ 
Cathy Munoz (R-Auke Bay):          B-  
Mark Neuman (R-MatSu):             B  
Kurt Olson (R-Kenai):              A  
Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage):       D- 
Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage):        A  
Dan Saddler (R-Eagle River):       A  
Paul Seaton (R-Homer):             D  
Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak/MatSu):    A-  
Bill Thomas Jr (R-Haines):         A-  
Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks):      A  
Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage):          D 
Peggy Wilson (R-Wrangell):         B 
Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole):      A

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