Brisson tops rankings by N.C. Chamber

Staff report

October 13, 2013

RALEIGH — N.C. Rep. William Brisson (D-Dublin), who represents Bladen County in the N.C. House, has been ranked by the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation as the No. 1 pro-business Democrat in the House.

Brisson received a rating of 82.73 when the rankings were released last week. The rankings are based on how individual members of the General Assembly voted on issues during what is known as the “long session.”

“Jobs should have been our No. 1 priority,” said Brisson. “The N.C. Chamber has always been one of my biggest supporters. They are all about business.”

Brisson said he has worked to help businesses grow in North Carolina. He added that he has worked to make the permitting process simpler for businesses.

“People need to get started doing their business ….” said Brisson.

He noted that he has tried to work with both sides of the aisle in Raleigh to help ease the process for business looking to locate in North Carolina. Brisson added that it doesn’t make any difference to him who sponsors a particular bill, only that it will be beneficial to his constituents.

“If it’s good for the people I represent, I can support it,” said Brisson.

Brisson was followed in the rankings by Ken Goodman of Richmond County, who had a ranking of 72.67. Goodman’s district also represents a small sliver of Robeson County.

N.C. Sen. Bill Rabon, a Republican who represents Bladen County in the N.C. Senate, received a ranking of 82.03, making him the No. 15 ranked pro-business senator. In addition to Bladen County, Rabon’s senate district also reaches into portions of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.

According to the document, business interests faired quite well in the N.C. General Assembly during 2013.

“Without a doubt, these ratings show that the 2013 session was positive for free enterprise principles and the overall business climate of North Carolina,” Matt Bales, research director for the foundation said to the Robesonian. “Overall, 70 percent of the Senate and 64 percent of the House members are rated at 70 or above, revealing a strong majority of business-minded legislators in both chambers.

“However,” Bales recently told The Robesonian in Lumberton, “inter-party tensions that arose during the legislative session had a negative impact on the promised laser-like focus on business issues and played a role in survey respondents’ ratings of legislators.”
Joe Stewart, the foundation’s executive director, said that his nonprofit has no legislative agenda and doesn’t lobby for or against specific legislation.
“… The 2013 Legislative Business Ratings represent a truly objective nonpartisan analysis of legislators based on insights from a broad base of individuals within the business community most familiar with the recent legislative session,” he said. “This methodology has proven over time to best serve NCFEF’s mission to provide impartial, objective analysis useful to the business leaders and the public on the intersection of politics and public policy that impacts North Carolina’s economic vitality.”