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NFIB report gauges lawmakers’...

NFIB report gauges lawmakers’ support for pro-small business legislation

By: Sarah Ulmer - August 2, 2023

Using votes on key small business legislation, the report showed that 86 Mississippi House members scored 100% on all bills NFIB considered. No state Senators hit that mark.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has ranked Mississippi lawmakers on how they vote regarding “pro-business” legislation in their latest “Voting Record” report.

Between 2022 and 2023, 86 members of the House of Representatives achieved 100% in voting for pro-small business legislation as tracked by the NFIB. No state Senator hit that mark.

The ranking primarily focuses on small business issues and does not reflect all business elements legislators consider. It also doesn’t factor in that some of the legislators supported small business issues in committees.

NFIB’s ranking includes eight key votes on issues important to small businesses including tax relief, workforce development, and workers’ compensation.

Legislation considered by both chambers includes:

  • HB 531 – Mississippi Tax Freedom Act (2022)
  • SB 2723 – Workforce Development (2022)
  • HB 1691 – SALT Cap (2022)
  • SB 2449 – Sales Tax on Software (2023)
  • HB 1733- Full Expensing (2023)

In the Senate, the NFIB also looked at SB 2474, a broadband bill, and in the House, HB 521, the workers compensation bill. Both of these are from the 2022 session.

NFIB State Director, Dawn McVea

“These leaders are a big reason why Mississippi remains a small business-friendly state,” said Dawn McVea, NFIB State director “They understand the challenges our members face and showed us they’ll do what it takes to level the playing field and allow for Main Street businesses to succeed.” 

In the Senate, the highest percentage reached was 83%. That ranking was achieved by 34 of the 36 Republican Senators.

The legislation that appears to have kept those Senators from reaching 100% was SB 2474, the broadband bill. This legislation gives municipalities that own electric companies the same authority as a power association.

Ultimately, the NFIB said the legislation would put private business in direct competition with government owned utility companies which goes against the organization’s position. All members of the Senate voted “yes’ on the bill.  

According to McVea, the NFIB reaches out to their members annually on a variety of issues. Based on members’ responses, the organization then discusses those issues with lawmakers. The NFIB’s “Voting Record” is compiled every two years so business owners know how their legislators are voting when it comes to the issues that matter to them.

“We select votes to score based on ballot positions and legislation that could have a positive or negative impact on small business owners’ ability to operate and grow their business,” said McVea.

The rankings are all scored equally. She said a legislator must have at least five votes in order to receive a score, otherwise they will be given an N/A.

Members of the NFIB in Mississippi have continued to express concerns over inflation and lack of workforce. Optimism has remained below the 49-year average for 18 months and business owners continue to be concerned about the direction of the nation’s economy.

The NFIB was founded in 1943 by C. Wilson Harder. His vision was to give small businesses a voice in government decisions through advocacy. Since then, the agenda has been determined by a one-vote ballot process of members. Nationwide the group has over 350,000 members.

To see where your lawmakers ranked in the NFIB report, click here.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: