Your local legislators just got a new report card.
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters has released its annual Environmental Scorecard for the 2013 legislative session. The scorecard ranks each legislator based on their votes in the General Assembly.
By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on 20 of the most critical conservation bills this year, CTLCV helps Connecticut voters better understand where their legislators stand when it comes to protecting the environment, the organization states.
"Almost all legislators present themselves as supporters of clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. The Scorecard helps the public to see whether legislators actually support these causes with their votes," says Margaret Miner, CTLCV Board member and Scorecard Committee Chair. "A scorecard is not a perfect measure, but it's a very useful indicator. If a legislator scores at the bottom of the pack year in and year out, he or she is not protecting the state's natural resources."
Increased Funding, But 'Tough Losses'
"We were thrilled to see increased funding for our clean water programs and open space protection," Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director, says. "But we had tough losses on the bills that really would have made a difference when it comes to clean energy and toxics."
The CTLCV says the sheer number of bills that were voted on this year reflects how deeply environmental issues are ingrained in every aspect of Connecticut's well-being, from public health and safety to the economy and growing jobs.
"Even as other important issues confront our communities, the need to protect the state's drinking water, the state's clean air, and our open spaces is paramount," according to CTLCV Co-Chairman Ken Bernhard. "Our economy cannot grow and our families are not safe if our legislators fail to grasp this point."
The 2013 CTLCV Legislative Champions
While CTLCV applauds legislators who achieved high scores this year, they also commend 11 legislators who they say deserve special accolades for their efforts on especially difficult issues during the past legislative session. The Legislative Champions are:
- Sen. Donald E. Williams (D-29)
- Sen. John McKinney (R-28)
- Rep. James Albis (D-99)
- Rep. Timothy Bowles (D-42)
- Rep. Andrew Fleischman (D-18)
- Rep. Matthew Lesser (D-100)
- Rep. Philip Miller (D-36)
- Rep. Arthur O'Neill (R-69)
- Rep. Roberta Willis (D-64)
- Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143)
- Rep. Diana Urban (D-43)
Looking Ahead to Next Year
The League will be presenting legislators with information on key issues that will be monitored and scored during the upcoming 2014 legislative session. The next Environmental Scorecard will be released in advance of the statewide elections to help inform the electorate about their legislator's positions on important environmental issues.