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CHARLESTON, W.Va. As children across West Virginia return to school, state lawmakers are receiving grades for their performance from the state’s manufacturing industry.

AssembleWV, a political advocacy organization affiliated with the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA), has scored members of the 83rd Legislature for their actions on a several pieces of legislation during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions. 

“We felt it was important and necessary to establish objective measures for evaluating legislator performance in relation to the mission and goals of AssembleWV and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association,” said Rebecca McPhail, WVMA president. 

“Our members have unique policy needs that are not always the same as other segments of the business community. The scorecard will help us explain our policy goals better to legislators and the public,” McPhail said. “We also believe that actions have consequences and feel a responsibility to hold legislators accountable for the votes they take.”

As the scorecard explains, the bills used to measure legislator performance were weighted based on their importance to manufacturers, regardless of whether the bills passed. Scores ranged from 100 percent down to 17.6 percent. All lawmakers can access the scorecard and are encouraged to contact the WVMA with questions.

“This is an opportunity for necessary dialogue between legislators and the manufacturing industry,” McPhail said. “West Virginia manufacturers have invested in this state – in good times and bad – employ thousands of people, pay millions in taxes, and support their communities. I particularly hope those who scored on the lower end of the scale will reach out to us and learn more about what matters to our members.”

The WVMA is comprised of more than 175 companies representing a broad range of manufacturing sectors including chemical, food grade, hardwood, steel and automotive manufacturing. The manufacturing industry employees more than 47,000 West Virginians at competitive wage levels, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the state’s total output.