« Back to News


Author: Penny Cothran

Source: SC Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2015

Contact: Penny Cothran,

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                           


47 House Members Receive Business Advocate Awards;

Senate “In Progress”

Columbia, S.C. — The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the state’s unified voice of business, has released the 2015 Legislative Scorecard and Year-In Review with 47 legislators earning Business Advocate Awards, all from the South Carolina House of Representatives.

“The business community went into 2015 laser focused on two priorities: workforce development and infrastructure. Our focus was no accident. The South Carolina Chamber’s Board of Directors chose these two immediate priorities as part of a larger, long-term strategy for South Carolina,” said Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber.

The 2015 regular legislative session was largely unproductive. However, under the leadership of Speaker Jay Lucas, the House passed an infrastructure plan by a two-thirds vote, and sent it to the Senate, which was a major step. The Senate was another story with back-and-forth infighting that precluded the body from ever debating a comprehensive infrastructure bill on the floor.

The 2015 Scorecard designates the Senate’s work as “in-progress” in an effort to highlight the urgency to address the state’s most important issues upon their return in January 2016.

Each legislative session, the Chamber tracks roll call votes on key business issues and tallies them to determine an overall score for each member of the General Assembly. This year, the Chamber weighted the issues on importance to the business climate and economic competitiveness. In 2015, the Chamber tracked key votes on infrastructure, workforce development, tort reform, workers’ compensation reform and unsafe used tires.

A special section of the 2015 Legislative Scorecard and Year-In Review commemorates the removal of the Confederate flag from State House grounds and honors the late Senator Clementa Pinckney for his service to South Carolina. The Chamber also recognizes those legislators who chose to Move South Carolina Forward with their vote in favor of removing the flag.

Legislators who scored 90% or more and will receive the Chamber’s Business Advocate Award:

House Speaker Jay Lucas (Darlington)

Representative Rita Allison (Spartanburg) 100 % Perfect Score

Representative Carl Anderson (Georgetown)

Representative Jimmy Bales (Richland)

Representative Bruce Bannister (Greenville)

Representative Beth Bernstein (Richland)

Representative Bill Bowers (Hampton)

Representative Jeff Bradley (Beaufort)

Representative Doug Brannon (Spartanburg)

Representative Derham Cole (Spartanburg)

Representative Joe Daning (Berkeley)

Representative MaryGail Douglas (Fairfield)

Representative Greg Delleney (Chester)

Representative Greg Duckworth (Horry)

Representative Raye Felder (York)

Representative Mike Forrester (Spartanburg)

Representative Laurie Funderburk (Kershaw)
Representative Craig Gagnon (Abbeville)

Representative Mike Gambrell (Anderson)

Representative Wayne George (Marion)

Representative Stephen Goldfinch (Georgetown)

Representative Phyllis Henderson (Greenville) 100% Perfect Score

Representative Donna Hicks (Spartanburg)

Representative David Hiott (Pickens)

Representative Bill Hixon (Aiken) 100% Perfect Score

Representative Kenneth Hodges (Colleton)

Representative Joseph Jefferson (Berkeley)

Representative Chip Limehouse (Charleston)

Representative Dwight Loftis (Greenville)

Representative Walt McLeod (Newberry)

Representative Weston Newton (Beaufort)

Representative Ralph Norman (York)

Representative Russell Ott (Calhoun) 100% Perfect Score

Representative Robert Ridgeway (Clarendon)

Representative Shannon Riley (Greenwood)

Representative Samuel Rivers (Berkeley)

Representative Bill Sandifer (Oconee)

Representative Gary Simrill (York)

Representative Murrell Smith (Sumter)

Representative Mike Sottile (Charleston)

Representative Kit Spires (Lexington)

Representative Eddie Tallon (Spartanburg) 100% Perfect Score

Representative David Weeks (Sumter)

Representative Brian White (Anderson)

Representative Bill Whitmire (Oconee)

Representative Robert Williams (Darlington)

Representative Richard Yow (Chesterfield)


The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first state chamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is South Carolina’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association. As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing prosperity and enhancing the state’s global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.                         


« Back to News