Quayle rated highest when it comes to supporting businesses

Published 11:49 am Saturday, July 3, 2010

FRANKLIN—Out of four lawmakers representing Western Tidewater, Sen. Fred Quayle was the highest-rated when it came to supporting businesses during this year’s General Assembly session.

The Suffolk Republican received a rating of 71 out of a possible 100.

The Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education recently rated state legislators based on their votes on bills of interest to businesses. Virginia FREE is a non-partisan organization that pushes for pro-business action in government.

Three additional legislators representing Franklin and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton were rated. Delegate Bill Barlow, D-Smithfield, received a business rating of 65 and Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, received a 59. Delegate Roslyn Tyler, D-Jarratt, ranked the lowest among the four, with a rating of 55.

The four lawmakers’ ratings placed them in Virginia FREE’s “swing” category, meaning they are frequent supporters of pro-business views.

Quayle said he attempts to support business positions on issues “every chance” he gets, but also noted there are times when other things take priority.

“I realize how important business is to our economy,” he said. “If we don’t have businesses creating good jobs, we’re going to be in bad shape.”

Barlow said several organizations rate legislators on certain issues following each General Assembly session.

“My job is to represent, as best I can, the citizens of the 64th District,” Barlow said. “I didn’t base my votes on pleasing this organization or any other organization.”

Quayle said Gov. Bob McDonnell asked the General Assembly to provide him with tools and funding to help grow business in the commonwealth.

“Even in this bad economic time, I think we took some steps toward encouraging businesses to come here,” Quayle said.

Barlow pointed out that Virginia is usually ranked high on, if not atop, lists of business-friendly states.

“I feel like I’m business friendly,” Barlow said. “I feel like the great majority of the legislature is pro-business.”