Reality Check: Which legislators are failing small business?
by Tom Scott, NFIB/CA State Executive Director
It’s easy to be a politician and claim to be a friend of small business. However, the annual NFIB Voting Record separates political rhetoric from reality. Each year, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/California walks the halls of the State Capitol urging legislators to support small business in California. We know that the health of the California economy depends very much on the health of California’s small businesses.
We also know there is a critical difference between saying you’re a friend of small business during campaign season, then once elected voting against small businesses at every turn. Following what was truly one of the most devastating years for small businesses in the State Capitol, NFIB today unveiled its 2016 voting record which provides a reality check as to who is and is not putting their votes where their rhetoric is.
NFIB/CA identifies and lobbies on bills which would have the most significant impact, either positive or negative, on small businesses. Based on their vote on these critical pieces of legislation, each member of the Legislature receives a percentage indicating how often he or she voted to support small business. We are pleased to see 13 Senators and 31 Assemblymembers voted with small business at least 70 percent of the time, but these numbers still only represent a minority of each chamber’s membership.
It is especially alarming to see some members of the legislature only receiving 17 or 18 percent with NFIB, while having some of the highest unemployment rates in California in their districts. We urge those who are failing small business to reflect on our voting record and strive to support small business with their votes in 2017.
As for our 100% club and NFIB friends of small business, we applaud your efforts in the State Capitol to support small businesses. Together, we understand the only way to rebuild our economy and strengthen our communities starts with supporting small businesses and protecting them from additional taxes, mandates, and complex regulation.
NFIB/CA assessed California legislators on 12 bills vital to the health of small business in California during the 2016 half of the 2015-16 legislative session. 29 legislators had impressive 100% scores; however 62 legislators failed small business this year with scores ranging from 27% to just 8%. The complete NFIB Voting Record with the bill numbers, description, and votes can be found here.
Tom Scott is the State Executive Director for NFIB California, which represents 22,000 dues-paying small business members across the state.