Unshackle Upstate Releases 2016 Legislative Scorecards

Posted: Sep 7th, 2016

ALBANY, NY – Unshackle Upstate, a pro-taxpayer, pro-business advocacy organization, today released its 2015-2016 legislative scorecards. The scorecards, available at www.unshackleupstate.com/legislative-activity/scorecards/, grade Senators and Assembly members based on their budget and legislative votes as well as sponsorships of specific bills during the 2015 and 2016 sessions.

“As Election Day draws near, incumbent legislators will be talking about their efforts to promote job growth and boost the economy. Voters across the state deserve to know which legislators stepped up and which ones fell short,” said Greg Biryla, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “Our new legislative scorecards, which look back over the past two years, provide a comprehensive assessment of legislators’ actions in Albany. We urge all voters, regardless of location or party affiliation, to evaluate these scorecards before heading to the voting booth this fall.”

The scorecard grades are comprised of points accumulated or lost based on legislators’ sponsorships and floor votes on bills that Unshackle Upstate either supported or opposed. A complete list of bills is available here. Votes and sponsorships were divided into four categories and graded with a maximum score of 100:

- Legislative Votes (0 to 60 points of total score) - includes floor votes

- Budget Votes (0 to 25 points of total score)- includes votes on the budget

- Sponsorship of Bills Supported by Unshackle Upstate (0 to 15 points of total score)- includes sponsorship of pro-taxpayer/pro-business legislation

- Sponsorship of Bills Opposed by Unshackle Upstate (0 to -15 points of total score)- includes sponsorship of anti-taxpayer/anti-business legislation

Several Upstate business leaders voiced their support for Unshackle Upstate’s 2016 legislative scorecards and encouraged voters to use them as an educational resource.

“As Southern Tier employers struggle to create good jobs, taxpayers deserve to know which officials are serious about improving our regional economy. Unshackle Upstate’s legislative scorecards reflect that commitment,” said Jennifer Conway, president and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. “Voters throughout the region should take a hard look at these scorecards and decide if their sitting legislators have earned their vote.”

“The results of this year’s legislative races are critical to the future of our region and other Upstate communities,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “Unshackle Upstate’s scorecards are a good guide to each legislator's performance on behalf of the economy, job creators and taxpayers  The North Country Chamber of Commerce encourages voters to review the grades as part of their decision process this year, and we especially salute Assemblymen Dan Stec and Ken Blankenbush for their 100% scores.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO BobDuffy said, “Whether its taxes, mandates, regulatory reform or regional investment, lawmakers need to be held accountable for their votes and policy positions that impact the Finger Lakes and Upstate communities. With hundreds of bills and resolutions introduced and acted upon in the legislature each year, Unshackle Upstate’s legislative scorecards provide a clear and concise evaluation of the performance of our legislators on the issues that matter most to Upstate taxpayers and employers.”

“Unshackle Upstate is Upstate New York’s economic watchdog in Albany and their legislative scorecards truly reflect which legislators are fighting for the region’s economic growth and who is protecting the status quo,” said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “After a disappointing year that included costly new mandates, it’s critically important for Upstate voters to get informed and involved. We encourage our members and all taxpayers across Western New York to view these scorecards before they head to the voting booth this year.”

“It’s critical for businesses across New York, including merit shop builders and contractors, to get educated and empowered before this year’s elections. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines as Albany enacts more job-killing mandates,” said Brian Sampson, president of the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. “The legislative scorecards developed by Unshackle Upstate are a tremendous resource for voters across New York. If we want to see positive economic growth in our communities, we must determine which candidates will advance that agenda and send them to Albany.”

Following the release of the scorecards, Unshackle Upstate will continue its endorsement process. The organization, which previously announced its endorsement of Floyd Rayburn in the 54th Senate district, will announce additional endorsements over the coming weeks.

View Senate rankings from Unshackle Upstate’s 2016 scorecards.

View Assembly rankings from Unshackle Upstate’s 2016 scorecards.