NYLCV RELEASES INAUGURAL STATE ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD
22 LEGISLATORS EARNED A PERFECT SCORE WHILE 36 RECEIVED FAILING MARKS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
CONTACT: Jordan Levine – 917-392-8965 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – Today, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) released its 2017 State Environmental Scorecard, which highlights the performance of every State Legislator on this year’s key environmental issues. NYLCV is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fighting for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space.
Since 2003, NYLCV has issued an Environmental Scorecard for the New York City Council to both hold council members accountable for their votes on the environment and to encourage members to support pro-environment legislation. NYLCV brought this effective tool to the state level this year, complementing its well-known endorsement process.
NYLCV issued memos on more than 30 bills throughout the session and sent a weekly Eco Hot List, which included a list of all the bills it issued memos on and their status in each chamber. These bills fulfill the goals laid out in NYLCV’s 2017 Statewide Policy Agenda, a document put together each year based on the policy priorities of experts from over 30 respected environmental, public health, transportation, parks, and environmental justice organizations.
NYLCV’s 2017 Scorecard examined voting and sponsorship records on 16 key environmental bills in each house of the legislature, covering clean energy, public health, transportation, and more. The bills that scored this year came solely from the pool of bills that it issued memos on. NYLCV scored the most significant bills that passed the legislature, and graded co-sponsorship for a handful of bills that the organization believes should have passed.
Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters said: “Given the obvious challenges for advancing bold environmental policy at the federal level, we need New York’s state legislators to step up. The good news is – despite a few stragglers – New York boasts strong environmental leaders on both sides of the aisle and they got things done this session. There is still much more to accomplish, however, and we will be looking to the legislature to send legislation to create a state transportation plan, require disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products, and to preserve farmland in Suffolk County to the Governor’s desk next year.”
- 22 legislators earned a perfect 100 and 23% of legislators earned a 90% or better.
- Regionally, the highest average scores were in Westchester and Manhattan, while on average, legislators in Western New York and the North Country/Adirondacks performed the worst.
- 35 assemblymembers and 1 state senator received failing remarks.
Average Scores by Conference:
Independent Democratic Conference: 97%
Senate Democrats: 89%
Senate Republicans: 76%
Assembly Democrats: 82%
Assembly Republicans: 61%
Perfect Score of 100:
Senate: Marisol Alcantara, Neil Breslin, David Carlucci, Martin Malave Dilan, Jesse Hamilton, Todd Kaminsky, George Latimer, Velmanette Montgomery, Daniel Squadron
Assembly: Robert Carroll, David Buchwald, Patricia Fahy, Sandy Galef, Deborah Glick, Daniel O’Donnell, Amy Paulin, Dan Quart, Linda Rosenthal, Nily Rozic, Rebecca Seawright, Aravella Simotas, Fred Thiele, Jr.
60% – James Sanders, Jr.
67% – Kevin S. Parker, Joseph E Robach
69% – Susan J. Serino, John J. Bonacic, Elizabeth O’C Little, Joseph A Griffo, James N. Tedisco, James L. Seward, Frederick J. Akshar II, Catharine M Young, Patrick M Gallivan, Michael H Ranzenhofer, Robert G Ortt
33% – Maritza Davila, Kieran Michael Lalor
36% – Christopher Friend
40% – Inez Dickens
44% – David Gantt
45% – Dov Hikind, David DiPietro
50% – Karl Brabenec
53% – Michael Montesano, Marc Butler
56% – Carmen Arroyo, Michael Fitzpatrick, Ron Castorina, Jr., Nicole Malliotakis, Kevin Byrne, Brian Miller, Ken Blankenbush, Bob Oaks, Philip Palmesano, Stephen Hawley, Michael Norris, Angelo Morinello
60% – Al Graf, Christine Pellegrino, Gary Finch
63% – Edward Ra, Brian Curran, Steven McLaughlin, William Barclay, Joseph Errigo, Robin Schimminger, Joseph Giglio, Andy Goodell
64% – Earlene Hooper, Michael Kearns
Rising Stars – Jamaal Bailey, Yuh-Line Niou and Nily Rozic: These three were not just high scorers but represent a new generation of leaders who are making protecting the environment and fighting climate change a top priority. Senator Bailey has been outspoken on access to healthy food. Assemblymember Niou was a vocal advocate for additional resiliency and clean water funding in the budget. Meanwhile, assemblymember Rozic is leading the charge for better buses statewide and has generated significant momentum for her bill to create a state transportation plan.
Clean Water Champion – Kemp Hannon: Though we did not score the budget, we would be remiss if we did not recognize Senator Hannon for his leadership in the creation of a Drinking Water Quality Council that will address emerging threats to water quality and improve testing for unregulated contaminants. He was also the lead sponsor of a bill to help ensure proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste so that it does not end up in our waterways and disrupt marine life, and legislation to lower the definition of elevated blood lead levels.
Bipartisan Leadership – Patty Ritchie and Todd Kaminsky: Both of these thoughtful leaders and serious legislators have shown a willingness to put partisan politics aside to do what is right for the environment. Senator Ritchie was the highest scoring Republican in either house of the legislature and has been a strong protector of New York’s family farmers. Similarly, Senator Kaminsky has collaborated with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work on behalf of Long Islanders and was a particularly strong voice for clean water.
Renewable Energy Trailblazers – Amy Paulin and Joe Griffo: Senator Griffo and Assemblymember Paulin were an effective tandem as chairs of the Energy Committee in their respective houses. They were the lead sponsors and champions of bills to increase electric vehicle adoption and promote the development of energy storage, both of which sailed through the legislature.