AUBURN, Mass. – After the Daily Voice reported on Friday that several local businesspeople support state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury), his Republican opponent in November’s election claimed that Moore’s voting record says otherwise.
Auburn Selectman Steve Simonian pointed to a voting scorecard from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a nonpartisan organization, which stated that Moore votes for small business issues 46 percent of the time.
“When our state Senator is voting against small businesses 54 percent of the time, I don’t know how he can say that he’s looking out for small businesses,” Simonian said.
However, Moore said there is “no validity to this claim.”
“I have fully supported small businesses in my time in office,” Moore said. “As the businesspeople stated in the article, it’s clear that I’m accessible to all businesses, and I will correct business legislation if it causes a burden.”
Moore said that the NFIB priorities that he voted against were pro-employee items, including CORI reform, parental leave and mandatory health care benefits.
“Voting in support of employees is also voting in support of the small business community,” Moore said. “If there’s a climate where people aren’t happy and don’t enjoy working in industries, then those industries aren’t going to be successful."
But Simonian said that Moore and other Statehouse legislators are causing unfair competition for businesses in the state.
“I’ve had many face-to-face conversations with small business owners, and they are considering moving their business,” Simonian said. “If they’re moving out-of-state, there’s no way you can say it’s a friendly business climate here.
“And it’s because the Legislature is making it harder and harder for companies to do business here,” Simonian continued. “The laws that have been passed are really hurting small businesses.”
However, Moore said he has advocated for many small business policies, including the fair share legislation; he said that businesses are getting unfairly taxed as a result of the state’s health insurance mandate, and this bill would address that.
The NFIB, whose scorecard Simonian pointed to, released a statement supporting Moore’s advocacy of this bill:
“On behalf of a group of organizations representing employers, we want to express our support for the fair share contribution assessment amendment filed by Senator Michael Moore.
“The amendment seeks to correct a problem faced by many small and independent business owners who offer insurance and employ many part-time or seasonal employees and/or employees who are likely to have insurance from other sources, yet are still subject to the fair share contribution penalty.”
In addition, Moore said he has support from the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), which also has a voting scorecard. According to AIM, a nonpartisan organization, Moore received a 78 percent score, which was sixth highest in the state Senate out of 40 senators.
“Sen. Moore has consistently voted in support of issues that are important to the business community,” said John Regan, head of Massachusetts Government Affairs for AIM. “He’s one of the senators who is pro-business, and we know we can rely on him.”