Thanks to your strong support and continued concern for CT's environment, we are proud to announce today's release of our 2014 Environmental Scorecard. With your support, we are able to produce the Scorecard each year to keep critical environmental issues center stage at the Connecticut State Legislature.
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) today released its 2014 Environmental Scorecard, the latest in a 15-year series of documents which rate Connecticut's state legislators by the votes they have cast on key environmental bills.
The Scorecards tally votes on major issues and show a numerical score for each legislator. The document describes the most important environmental bills to come up in the Connecticut General Assembly, and explains wins and losses for the environment. This year, the environment racked up some promising wins.
To view the 2014 Environmental Scorecard online, click here.
The major issues tracked by CTLCV in 2014 were open space protection, state parks stewardship, tree trimming, water planning, Long Island Sound protection, genetically modified grass seed, children's exposure to pesticides, toxins in the environment (in addition to pesticides), chemicals of high concern for children, fracking waste, methane gas leaks from natural gas delivery systems, outdoor wood-burning furnaces, the public's right to comment on subdivision applications, repeal of environmental regulations, and exemption from penalties for first-time violators of environmental regulations.
2014 Legislative Session Was a Good One
The 2014 legislative session was one of the most tumultuous in recent years, with inter-chamber squabbling threatening to block any serious forward motion on environmental issues. A final-hours break in the legislative logjam propelled a number of environmental bills into the win category, including measures dealing with fracking waste, water planning, open space, excessive tree trimming, and air pollution from leaking methane gas and outdoor wood-burning furnaces.
"In the end, we were relieved to be able to call 2014 a very good year," said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. "However, with the number of highly placed environmental champions retiring from the General Assembly this year, we must work hard to get good people elected if we want to see this kind of success in the future," Brown continued.
The 2014 Scorecard is dedicated to three of those champions, who are retiring: Senate President Pro-Tem Donald Williams, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, and Senate Chair of the Environment Committee Ed Meyer. Other designated champions are Rep. James Albis, Rep. Timothy Bowles, Rep. Mae Flexer, Rep. Gregory Haddad, Rep. John Hampton, Rep. Tony Hwang, Rep. Gail Lavielle, Rep. Matthew Lesser, Rep. Philip Miller, Rep. Mary Mushinsky, Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Rep. Diana Urban and Rep. Roberta Willis.
Scorecard & Endorsements
Along with advocating for sound environmental policies at the Capitol, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters endorses strong environmental candidates and works for their election. "Legislator accountability is key to making good choices at the polls, and the Scorecard is a critical accountability tool," said Bernhard. "We have been successful in getting environmentally concerned voters to use the power of their vote to shape policy, and we see the results every day at the Capitol. The Scorecard makes sure that those choices are based on sound data," Bernhard continued.
The Scorecard also serves to outline the environmental policy agenda for the upcoming year. Based on the unfinished business in 2014, environmental advocates in 2015 will be pushing for progress on protecting children, pregnant women, and all life in the natural world from exposure to pesticides and to other toxins in the products around us. Again, as always, environmental progress and protection will depend on adequate funding for the state's environmental and health agencies.
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is a non-profit organization encompassing a lobbying arm, an educational wing, and a political action program.