2018 Legislative Results
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters worked with our environmental colleagues, legislators, and a multitude of citizen advocates from across the State to advance environmental legislation at the Connecticut General Assembly this year. Listed below are the final results of the bills we tracked during the short legislative session. Significant votes that were cast in Committees, the House or the Senate will soon be included in our upcoming 2018 Environmental Scorecard.
Environmental concerns fared better this year than last year. The biggest win was legislation to place a Constitutional Amendment referendum on the ballot to protect public lands. The biggest loss was the legislature’s refusal to adopt a State Water Plan. Two big energy bills were pushed through that made significant wins for our climate change goals, but also contained an industry-led attack on residential solar. Every one of these battles lasted the entire 2018 session, testing the advocates’ staying power, and our ability to fight back against the most powerful interests at the State Capitol.
There were meaningful wins this year, and many losses as well. We successfully blocked all the rollbacks, including consent orders, and fixed the 90-day automatic permitting from last year’s special session. (see full Environmental Watchlist below and see how your legislator voted on these issues).
This year, top leadership in the House and Senate were clearly in tune to environmental concerns and many lawmakers were extraordinarily engaged in our priorities. The fact that they used many of our bills as negotiating chips, and that they used the precious waning hours of the last night to get through major environmental policy, reflects the level of interest there was at the legislature this year on our issues.
All of 2017 and 2018 had far more citizens engaged than in prior years, and legislators were very responsive to that. While our Scorecard can sometimes hide behind-the-scenes behavior by lawmakers, both champions and anti-environment foes were not hard to spot.
We need to ensure that this year’s renewed focus on the environment gains momentum through the summer and fall as candidates articulate what is important to them (and their constituents).