STATEHOUSE -- State Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) is the state’s most pro-economy, pro-jobs legislator, according to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, which earlier this week released its annual Legislative Vote Analysis.
Clere scored 97 percent for the 2013 legislative session, which concluded in April. Among Indiana's 150 legislators – 100 representatives and 50 senators – only House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) had a higher score. As speaker, Bosma votes at his discretion; his score was 100 percent on the bills on which he voted, which comprised one-third of the three dozen bills included in the analysis.
Clere said he considers how every bill may affect jobs.
"My voting record reflects my focus on promoting job creation, which is my top priority," Rep. Clere said. "I won't be satisfied until there is a good job for every Hoosier who wants to work."
Bills used in the report were selected based on their significant impact on the state's economic climate and workforce. Lawmakers are notified in advance of the Chamber's position and reasoning on each bill.
Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said the session included many challenging issues.
"The issues in 2013 were more complex and less partisan in nature," Brinegar said. "Two examples involved the Common Core academic standards and the ratepayer protection for the Rockport synthetic natural gas plant. Both were highly complicated – containing various provisions – and had significant supporters and opponents in both parties. This could very well be a sign of things to come."
Earlier this month, Clere received similar recognition from the Indiana Manufacturers Association, which presented him with its Award for Legislative Excellence based on his voting record of 94 percent on IMA issues.
A vote to protect the integrity of New Albany's human rights ordinance was the only thing that kept Clere from having a perfect score.
Senate Enrolled Act 213, which dealt with employee benefits, could have undermined New Albany's ordinance, which prohibits discrimination.
"Although I supported the underlying objective of the bill, I wasn't willing to weaken New Albany's human rights ordinance or similar fairness measures in other communities around Indiana," Clere said. "It was an unintended consequence of the legislation."
Later in the session, Clere worked on a fix, which was included in the state budget bill. As a result, New Albany's ordinance will be unaffected by SEA 213. The Chamber did not include SEA 213 in its analysis.
Another organization that rates legislators based on how their votes impact economic development and job creation, the National Federation of Independent Business, hasn't yet released its scores for the 2013 session. In past years, Clere has scored 100 percent.
Each bill that was significant to the Chamber can be found in the full report at http://www.indianachamber.com/index.php/lva. The IMA report is at http://www.imaweb.com/legislative-priority-vote-analyses/.
Rep. Clere (R-New Albany) represents most of Floyd County.