The scorecard tracks state legislators' voting record on key bills addressing clean energy, public health, transportation and more
New Yorkers are seeing one of most pro-environment years in decades based on votes in Albany, according to the 2019 Environmental Scorecard released by the New York League of Conservation Voters.
The annual rating reveals where lawmakers stand by how they vote on key environmental bills. Statewide, more than 60 legislators earned perfect scores. Of 16 bills scored, 12 passed both houses.
“New York’s environment was the clear winner in this session, the most pro-environment in recent memory,” said NYLCV President Julie Tighe. The non-partisan, statewide organization lobbies for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy and open space through political action.
Lawmakers from the Finger Lakes region, the three representing all or part of Ontario County, earned scores ranging from 50 percent, for Sen. Rich Funke, R-Perinton, to 59 percent, for Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua.
Legislative leaders — which include Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua, who leads the Assembly Republican Conference — were not graded, although the scores of their conferences, on which they have a substantial impact on, are listed. Kolb’s Assembly Repubican Conference scored 51 percent.
Here’s a NYLCV description of sample key votes that passed. Check out the full list of votes and how legislators scored at https://bit.ly/32lHxTf
1,4-Dioxane ban: The chemical found in certain consumer products and industrial processes, is harmful to human health and an emerging contaminant in public water supplies, especially on Long Island. The legislation bans 1,4-Dioxane above certain levels from cosmetics, personal care products, and household cleaning products.
Ban PFAS chemicals in food packaging: PFAS are commonly used as anti-stick coatings, including in food packaging. They are also known carcinogens. This bill would ban PFAS chemicals in food packaging, thereby preventing New Yorkers from unknowingly ingesting chemicals that can be harmful when absorbed into the bloodstream.
Climate leadership and community protection act: Considered the most ambitious climate change law in the country, it sets binding targets of economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050: an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and 100 percent clean power by 2040. The legislation also requires 35 percent of all climate change funding to benefit disadvantaged communities. The bill is double-weighted for legislators’ scores.
E-Bike/e-scooter legislation: E-bikes and e-scooters can be an important part of greening the transportation sector. The legislation authorizes local governments to regulate and allow the use of e-bikes and e-scooters to expand access to them.
Prohibit offshore drilling: Federal regulations have prohibited oil and gas exploration off New York’s coast for decades. As a result, state law relating to offshore oil and gas exploration is outdated and inadequate. This bill would address this oversight in New York State law, protecting the state's coastal economy and ecosystem while also sending a message to the federal government that plans for offshore oil and gas exploration off the East Coast are deeply misguided.