Corinth lawmakers Rep. Nick Bain and Sen. Rita Potts Parks received “B” and “A” grades from the state’s watchdog group for their pro-business voting record during the 2021 session.

Local lawmakers are being recognized as “Business & Jobs Champions” by Mississippi watchdog group BIPEC.

The group releases its annual report card following each legislative session, which grades lawmakers from “A to F” on their business-related voting record.

The report card highlights senators and representatives and the work they do to support economic growth, job development and business-related issues from the most recent legislative session.

Republican Sen. Rita Potts Parks of Corinth received an “A” grade, while Republican Reps. Nick Bain of Corinth, Bubba Carpenter of Burnsville and Jody Steverson of Ripley received a “B” grade. Republican Rep. Tracy Arnold of Booneville received a “C” grade.

The group looked at the voting record of lawmakers on 17 business-related measures some of which did not become law.

Among the supported measures that passed included the voter-approved new state flag, exempting term bids from reverse auctions, requiring K-12 public schools to offer computer science, the repealing of the law requiring businesses to pay estimated sales tax, allowing for home delivery of alcohol, beer and wine and an act prohibiting governments from barring the use of natural gas in homes and businesses.

Also included in the scorecard this year were votes on two bills in the House of Representatives to phase out the individual income tax. BIPEC said exploring the elimination of the income tax had merit, but the proposal would have imposed significant increases in sales taxes on certain business inputs.

According to BIPEC, the support of the tax elimination by many House members negatively affected their grade resulting in a “B” grade or lower for all House members. Arnold’s score was also impacted by his vote against the alcohol delivery service.

“BIPEC recognizes and appreciates the efforts of these Business & Jobs Champion Legislators,” said BIPEC President and CEO Derek Easley. “For the members and supporters of BIPEC, the report card is a resource for the business community. It is a tool to see our legislators’ measured performance and their support for the growth of jobs and economic development in Mississippi.”

BIPEC (Business and Industry Political Education Committee) is a 501c6 membership organization founded in 1980 by Mississippi’s business and professional leaders.

BIPEC’s purpose is to learn backgrounds, voting records and key positions of members and candidates for the Mississippi Legislature, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. BIPEC disseminates credible research findings to BIPEC members, educates BIPEC’s membership network on the impact that legislator and judge-made decisions have on Mississippi’s economic growth, business attractiveness and general prosperity of the State’s employers.

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Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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