Two Brooklyn Park lawmakers received the highest marks of any of the county's 18 state senators and delegates on a recent business report card.
State Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Del. Joan Cadden, both Democrats, consistently cast pro-business votes this past winter, according to a legislative report released Monday by the Anne Arundel County Trade Council.
Mr. Jimeno and Ms. Cadden even surpassed Del. Elizabeth S. Smith, a Davidsonville Republican who won the Trade Council's 1993 Legislator of the Year Award.
"I always try to support business, especially small business, because I really do believe that's the backbone of our economy," said Ms. Cadden, who operates a beauty parlor from her home.
The Trade Council, a chapter of the Chamber of Commerce, tracked the records of the county's five senators and 13 delegates during the 1993 General Assembly session. The report card charts how often the lawmakers took what the Trade Council regarded as a pro-business stance on key legislation.
In particular, the Trade Council looked at their votes on 28 bills affecting the real estate, marine trades and insurance industries as well as the general economic climate, said Pat Graham with the Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors and chairman of the subcommittee that prepared the report card.
Since the council began tracking voting records two years ago, Mr. Jimeno cast pro-business votes 85 percent of the time and Ms. Cadden, 83 percent.
Ms. Smith, considered one of the most pro-business lawmakers in the state, voted with the Trade Council 80 percent of the time.
Former Del. Tyras S. "Bunk" Athey, a Jessup Democrat, had the lowest score, 34 percent. But that may not accurately reflect the views of Mr. Athey, who gave up his seat this spring to accept appointment as Maryland's secretary of state, Ms. Graham said.
"His ranking is somewhat unusual because he misses a number of votes due to leadership meetings," Ms. Graham said, noting that Mr. Athey was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Compared to lawmakers elsewhere, Ms. Graham said Anne Arundel County has one of the most consistently pro-business delegations in the state.
The 18 county lawmakers voted unanimously for the state to borrow $50 million to expand the Baltimore Convention Center and to consolidate state offices doing duplicative work -- both considered by the Trade Council as pro-business moves.
On the other hand, the delegation also unanimously supported a new law that requires health care insurers to provide mental health coverage, which the Trade Council considered anti-business.
Among the county's senators, John A. Cade, R-Severna Park, voted the council's position 55 percent of the time; Bernie Fowler, D-Prince Frederick, 78 percent, Michael J. Wagner, D-Ferndale, 82 percent, and Gerald C. Winegrad, D-Annapolis, 59 percent.
The percentages for delegates were: John C. Astle, D-Annapolis, 72 percent; Phillip D. Bissett, D-Annapolis, 76 percent; Michael E. Busch, D-Annapolis, 69 percent; John W. Gary, R-Millersville, 79 percent; W. Ray Huff, D-Pasadena, 79 percent; Charles W. Kolodziejksi, D-Carvel Beach, 69 percent; George W. Owings III, D-Owings, 72 percent; Marsha G. Perry, D-Crofton, 53 percent, and Victor A. Sulin, D-Glen Burnie, 79 percent.