Legislators get mixed reviews

Ryan Carter

Local state legislators received mixed results on this year’s list of

“Best Business” votes selected by the California Chamber of Commerce.

The state chamber ranked members of the state assembly and senate


based on their voting records on bills the chamber supported or


The list was published in the chamber’s Oct. 24 ALERT newsletter.

The organization took positions on 18 bills in the Assembly and 19 in


the state Senate.

“We think it is important that constituents know how legislators

voted on issues pertaining to job creation and job retention in

California,” chamber spokeswoman Sara Lee said.

Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank) voted in accor- dance with

the chamber’s position four times, and against 14 times. State Sen.

Jack Scott (D-Burbank) voted eight times with chamber-backed bills

and 11 times against.


Frommer was close to the middle of the pack among assembly

Democrats. The chamber gave Barbara Matthews (D-Stockton) the highest

ranking. She voted 14 times in accordance with chamber positions and

only four times against, according to the list.

On the Senate side, Scott was close to the middle of the pack

between both parties. But though Republicans topped the pro-business

tally, Scott’s eight pro-chamber votes and 11 against represented

the second-best Democrat tally in the senate, according to the list.


“What I try to do in labor/ management issues is to be balanced,”

Scott said. “I have got great sympathy for the working person. On the

other hand, I think labor is just like manage- ment in that one can

have too much power. I try not to be ideological.”

Bills in the most recent legislative session included Senate Bill

2, which requires employers to provide health insurance to every

employee in California and their dependents or to pay into a health

insurance pool. The chamber vehemently opposed the bill, which Scott

and Frommer supported and helped get passed.

Frommer said it was unfor- tunate that the chamber’s list did not

highlight attempts by some legislators to help businesses.

Frommer said it was issues in his district that were relevant to

him, not all 18 bills in front of him.

Lee acknowledged that not all of the bills were necessarily

relevant to a given district and that the list cannot tell the whole

story about what a legislator was thinking on an issue. She suggested

that constituents supplement the chamber list with other legislative