The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday recognized members of Spartanburg County’s legislative delegation who were “business advocates” during the state’s 2016 Legislative Session.
Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg Chamber, and Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, presented awards during a ceremony at The Country Club of Spartanburg.
The honorees included state Reps. Rita Allison, Derham Cole, Mike Forrester, Donna Hicks and Eddie Tallon, and Sens. Tom Corbin, Harvey Peeler and Glenn Reese.
“A lot of times, we only call on our elected leaders when we need something,” Smith said. “This is something that the state chamber does and we wanted to do it too. We wanted to thank them publicly for their bold leadership. Some of the issues they vote on are very controversial… We wanted to recognize what they are doing—creating jobs and bringing investment to Spartanburg.”
Pitts said that in each legislative session, the state chamber tracks roll call votes on key business issues and tallies them to determine an overall score for each member of the General Assembly.
Legislators who received a score of 90 percent or higher earned a Business Advocate award. Those winners were announced in August.
The state chamber weighted the issues on importance to the business climate and economic competitiveness. It tracked key votes on infrastructure, workforce development, Right to Work laws, military retirement benefits, tort reform and aid for farmers following historic flooding in October 2015.
Allison, Cole, Hicks and Tallon each scored 100 percent. Tallon is the only legislator in the state to earn a perfect score four years in a row.
Forrester, Corbin, Peeler and Reese each scored 75 percent. While the state chamber did not recognize them in August, the Spartanburg Chamber honored them on Wednesday.
Corbin and Peeler were not able to attend the local ceremony.
“It’s great to be recognized by our constituents and community,” Tallon said. “It’s very gratifying to be honored for the work we do. We have a great chamber. I don’t think they asked anything of us that was unreasonable. We’re happy to help.”