State Chamber of Commerce scores legislators on economic support

Waldo County reps range from very weak to very strong
Oct 10, 2018

Augusta — Maine Economic Research Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization administered by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and created to conduct research, analysis and reporting on economic issues, announced its legislator ratings today. MERI ratings are the only report on legislators' votes based solely on economic issues in Maine.

Bills tracked during the current legislative session included critical economic issues such as tax policies, the cost of doing business in Maine, economic development, health care, regulatory reform, and energy, environmental and infrastructure issues.

Legislation was selected to be tracked based on what Maine employers of all sizes say is critical to their success, their ability to create jobs, and what is fundamental to growing Maine's economy, MERI said in a news release Oct. 10.

The results of legislators' voting records were compiled and rated at the end of the legislative session. Each legislator was assigned an economic score. Scores of 75-100 indicate the legislator is a very strong supporter of Maine's economy; 55-75, a strong supporter; 35-54, a weak supporter; and 0-34, a very weak supporter.

Here's how Waldo County legislators stacked up in support of Maine's economy:

Sen. Mike Thibodeau, R-Waldo County, 87.86

Rep. Owen Casas, I-Rockport, 46.14

Rep. James Gillway, R-Searsport, 81.25

Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, 23.08

Rep. MaryAnne Kinney, R-Knox, 83.22

Rep. Karl Ward, R-Dedham, 66.35

Rep. S. Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, 18.89

Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Androscoggin County, candidate for the U.S. Senate, scored 77.50.

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, scored 24.59.

"MERI's economic scores and performance evaluations have long served as a critical tool for Maine businesses and the general public in determining how legislators rank on issues that impact Maine's economy," said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. "Knowing how our legislators vote is key to improving Maine's business environment and fostering more quality jobs for Mainers."

A full list of legislator scores and the bills MERI tracked is available at




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