Hartford, CT - In addition to the recent endorsement of 48 candidates for the Connecticut General Assembly, the CT League of Conservation Voters announces the elevation of 14 incumbents to the high position of LEGISLATIVE CHAMPION for the 2016 legislative session.
Both Democrat and Republican incumbents were highlighted in the League's recent Environmental Scorecard. The list includes:
"These 14 people are being recognized for their outstanding leadership during the past session. They are our 'go to' people when we need an extra dose of passion, commitment and knowledge of the important environmental issues of the day. Each one has shown keen leadership skills and made a difference this year," said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director.
Information about these environmental champions, is posted on CTLCV's website at www.ctlcv.org. Visit both the ELECTION and SCORECARD pages, or contact the League at 860-236-5442 for details.
Hartford, CT - In one of the most unpredictable election seasons of all time for the Connecticut state legislature--with 22 open seats, hotly competitive races, razor thin margins for some incumbents, and control of our state Senate in the balance--every single vote is going to count.
To help move the dial in favor of some of the state's most active environmental leaders, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has identified and endorsed candidates from both parties for election to the Connecticut General Assembly.
"The economy may dominate the headlines and candidate debates, but the people we elect will also decide how we protect our public water supply, preserve state lands, prevent pollution, and manage energy and transportation options for all citizens," said David Bingham, CTLCV co-chair.
In Connecticut General Assembly races, CTLCV endorses the following candidates:
Several of the League's top environmental champions are being targeted for defeat by special interests with big dollars to spend. In response, CTLCV has created its own Political Action Committee to promote a strong bi-partisan slate of endorsed candidates for voters to consider on election day.
"If you care about the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the wonderful parks and landscapes in Connecticut, then pay close attention to what candidates are saying about environmental issues," said Bingham.
"The candidates we endorse are reliable in their environmental values, and pledge to prioritize environmental matters important to their constituents. We urge people in their districts to support them at the polls on November 8," said Ken Bernhard, CTLCV Co-Chair.
According to CTLCV, people don't often know whether or not a candidate shares their core values on the environment. CTLCV has done the research and wants to be sure voters know who will best represent them on these issues.
Since 2000, CTLCV has surveyed candidates on their positions, records, and plans for protecting the environment. This year's candidate survey contained questions about environmental issues that are likely to be considered during the 2017 legislative session beginning this January. Responses of all candidates, regardless of endorsement, are posted at www.ctlcv.org.
CTLCV has kept tabs on how legislators are voting once in office. An annual Environmental Scorecard is also posted on its site, reporting how each incumbent lawmaker voted on key bills each session.
"Connecticut's economic and environmental quality of life has always depended on our natural resources. We are counting on our endorsed candidates to champion smart environmental policies that will protect these irreplaceable assets," said Bernhard. "The environment is our greatest asset, worth investing in through thick and thin for the long term health of our state."
Hartford, CT- The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV), a bipartisan environmental legislative watchdog, has just released its annual Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard evaluates how members of Connecticut's state legislature performed on the most important environmental bills of 2016.
According to CTLCV, all Connecticut Legislators say they are in favor of protecting the natural environment. But are they?
The Scorecard shows the votes that were scored and explains bills that really mattered for the environment this year. Equally important, the Scorecard exposes legislators whose maneuverings quietly killed good bills or who tried to dismantle important laws we count on to protect our public water supply, our open spaces, and prevent exposure to toxic chemicals.
Connecticut it also has its share of legislative champions who fought very hard against efforts to weaken environmental protections. In a legislative session dominated by fiscal woes and disputes, our champions managed to push through critical legislation that safeguards our land, air, and water for the benefit of our entire state. A special section of this year's scorecard is dedicated to legislators who took leadership on one or more key environmental issues this year.
"To enact good environmental laws, we need good people at the state legislature to fight for us," said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. "The Scorecard is our best tool for giving credit where it is due. This year's Scorecard reflects some very hard-fought wins, and we owe thanks to our champions in both chambers."
A major victory this year was passage of a bill calling for a state referendum to better protect state-owned lands. Another big win resulted in better protections for habitat that supports important pollinators and restricts the use of certain pesticides that are especially lethal to them. These and other statewide successes are shared by every community in Connecticut.
Pro-environment legislation that did not pass this year sought to protect our public water supply against the extractive water bottling industry. That battle is expected to continue next session along other efforts that were derailed, such as an initiative to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals in children's clothing, and enacting a ban on single-use plastic bags.
THE BUDGET IMPACT
By and large, funding for environmental programs was reduced. But for some key programs, such as the clean water fund, cuts were not extreme.
The most serious damage to environmental protection in Connecticut is caused by recurring budget cuts to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). DEEP is having difficulty meeting its core mission and responsibilities, and this year's cuts make the problems worse: help to towns and cities on wetlands issues no longer exists. Oversight of pesticide application is now only paperwork, not verified in the field. Monitoring of sewage treatment plants and hazardous waste has been greatly reduced, leaving uncertainties about how serious problems may be. Public parks are ever under threat of closure and disrepair. And non-compliance with environmental laws is increasing, apparently because no one is watching.
The public may learn more about the 2016 session, view the Scorecard, and track the progress of legislators regarding environmental issues next session by visiting www.ctlcv.org, or by calling the League at 860-236-5442.