Free Enterprise Index: Pro-Business Voting Record Accountability

We often hear political candidates or legislators offer platitudes on supporting small business and job creators, but how do you know if they follow through when they are voting on bills as one of your elected representatives? It’s tough to quantify and monitor as a constituent, especially as a business owner who doesn’t have time to keep an eye on what’s happening on Capitol Square here in downtown Columbus. 

As our mission states, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce aggressively champions free enterprise, economic competitiveness and growth for the benefit of all Ohioans. But exactly what does that mean for business owners? It means the chamber has you covered to protect and fight for your interests, regardless if you are aware of what may or may not be affecting you throughout the policymaking process at any given time.

A plethora of bills are introduced every two-year General Assembly in Ohio, and ultimately only a tiny percentage end up getting across the finish line and signed into law. The Ohio Chamber team tracks, monitors, and actively advocates on hundreds of bills which would affect our business community. Sometimes we support and push for bills that aim to create policy that benefits us. Sometimes we have to fight against bills that will negatively affect businesses and job creators. And sometimes, we have to publicly take a stand in support or against a bill by recording a vote on it in our Free Enterprise Index (FEI).

The Ohio Chamber’s Free Enterprise Index is our voting record for incumbent legislators on bills that are determined to have a substantial effect on a substantial portion of Ohio’s business community. When big-ticket issues that significantly affect Ohiobusinesses are being voted on, we even increase the weight of the vote for the FEI. But this is one of our answers to the question posed at the top of this article. A legislator’s FEI score is their “pro-business” score. 

The FEI is a record we share publicly on our website over the course of the two-year General Assembly. This is a great indicator for how pro-business your elected representatives are, published by an organization whose sole purpose is to advocate for businesses. 

Two years is a long time in the political world. But the FEI is a key factor in how the Ohio Chamber determines whether or notwe support incumbent candidates for re-election with an endorsement from our Political Action Committee. So full circle, the FEI is an important way in which the Ohio Chamber of Commerce holds elected representatives accountable to their constituent businesses, and on the flip-side it’s an easy snapshot for you as a business owner or employer to look at the pro-business performance of both your representatives and the legislature as a whole.

Find our Free Enterprise Index online by clicking here.