The Journal Gazette
Sunday, July 07, 2019 1:00 am

Area lawmakers score well by business group

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce released its annual report scoring state legislators on how they voted on key business legislation in the recent General Assembly. For 2019, lawmakers' scores ranged from 27% to 100%.

“The Legislative Vote Analysis is how we hold lawmakers accountable for their voting records and is an important source of information for employers and citizens across our state,” Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said.

“The report's purpose is to keep Hoosiers informed about what's going on at the Indiana Statehouse and how their legislators are voting on issues vital to Indiana's economic future. This report makes it clear which legislators support pro-job growth and pro-economy issues and which legislators do not.”

Bills included for examination in the Legislative Vote Analysis can be traced back to the Indiana Chamber's economic development plan, Indiana Vision 2025. They include sentencing guidelines for hate crimes, increased investment/efforts to deploy broadband to rural areas, and transferability of the venture capital investment tax credit. Also included were significant water infrastructure funding, school accountability improvements and statewide preschool expansion.

Legislators who score 70% or greater for the most recent four-year voting period are eligible for endorsement consideration by the Indiana Chamber's political action committee, Indiana Business for Responsive Government.

Here is how area lawmakers fared in 2019 and their four-year aggregate score:

Rep. Dave Abbott, R-Rome City – 89% and 90%

Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne – 90% and 97%

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne – 55% and 57%

Rep. Dave Heine, R-New Haven – 89% and 96%

Rep. Chris Judy, R-Fort Wayne – 79% and 82%

Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne – 95% and 97%

Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington – 92% and 97%

Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne – 80% and 83%

Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen – 63% and 71%

Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn – 89% and 94%

Rep. Dave Wolkins, R-Warsaw – 83% and 91%

Rep. Dennis Zent, R-Angola – 92% and 97%

Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne – 91% and 94%

Sen. Justin Busch, R-Fort Wayne – 89% and 89%

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange – 86% and 85%

Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle – 88% and 95%

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn – 83% and 91%

Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington – 84% and 90%

Best-run cities

Fort Wayne is the 12th best-run city in the country, according to a new study by financial website WalletHub.

The city was ranked the best run in Indiana, followed by Gary in 79th and Indianapolis at 99th place. The study, released Tuesday, compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on operating efficiency. Each city's score was composed of 37 performance indicators grouped into six categories: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure and pollution. The study also looked at total budget per capita.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment to receive national recognition and be listed as the best run city in Indiana,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement.

“We're working together each day to make Fort Wayne the leader in economic development opportunities, high-wage jobs, strong neighborhoods, and quality of life amenities that make us attractive for businesses, individuals and families,” Henry said. “It's a great time to be part of all of the initiatives taking place in our community to move us in the right direction for today and the future with positive momentum and investments occurring like never before.”


Gov. Eric Holcomb last week made several new and reappointments to various state boards and commissions. They include:

• Jessique Haeft, of Huntington, was tapped to serve on the Board of Registration for Soil Scientists. She is an assistant professor of natural resources at Ball State University.

• Thomas Eickholtz, of Kendallville, was reappointed to the Board of Registration for Soil Scientists.

• Kristin Rentschler, of Columbia City, was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Education. She is a teacher at Columbia City High School.

• Cindy Wolfer, of Fort Wayne, will serve on the Probate Code Study Commission. She is an associate at Rothberg Logan & Warsco.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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