Annapolis, MD (PRWEB) July 16, 2012
The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released their annual scorecard last week to evaluate how legislators in the General Assembly voted on key environmental issues, and provide a tool for conservation voters to educate themselves on how their representatives voted. The report covered key legislative opportunities for family farm preservation (SB 294), septics and growth (SB 236), bay restoration (HB 446), stormwater (HB 987), solar energy (SB 791), and utility consumption disclosure (HB 1331).
The scorecard presents a detailed summary of Senate and Delegate votes so constituents can easily see and compare the track record for each representative. Legislators’ scores vary widely by region with urban areas scoring higher than rural, as demonstrated by the online interactive regional maps at mdlcv.org. Fifteen Senators, including Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Dist. 22) of University Park, and seventy two Delegates, including Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park, received a 100% rating.
It was a mixed bag in the General Assembly this year,” said Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “We applaud the legislators who stood up to protect our air, land, water and the legislators who made the connection between a strong economy and a healthy environment. In light of the recent extreme weather, voters now more than ever deserve to know who is voting for clean water and renewable energy and those who do not.”
The 2012 General Assembly Session started in January with the potential to be one of the best sessions for the environment in history. The General Assembly Session started strong with an offshore wind bill backed by Governor Martin O’Malley—Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012 (SB 237/ HB 441). As a chamber, the House of Delegates earned higher marks than the Senate for their passage of the bill with a vote of 88–47. However, even with enormous advocacy and grassroots pressure, the bill died when a final vote could not be found to break a 5-5 tie in the Senate Finance Committee.
Unfortunately another casualty was the Community Clean Up and Greening Act (HB1247/SB511), commonly known as the “Bag Fee bill.” The Bag Fee died in committee weeks before the end of the legislative session.
Despite these missed opportunities to invest in the economy and environment, legislature made significant strides in protecting waterways, and earned higher marks for 2012 than any year in the past four years due to the passage of a significant package of legislation to improve water quality, create jobs, protect public health, reduce flooding, and improve Maryland’s communities.
Delegate Tom Hucker, a Democrat from Montgomery County (District 20) who scored 100% on this year’s scorecard and is endorsed by Maryland LCV, lead efforts to jumpstart offshore wind energy and a ban on arsenic in chicken feed. He serves on the critical Economic Matters Committee, and attended Maryland LCV’s press conference on July 10th.
“We all deserve clean water and the General Assembly made great strides this year” said Delegate Hucker. “As we recover from one of the strangest and most destructive storms in its history, we are also reminded that we deserve energy that is not contributing to asthma and climate change- clean wind energy is needed and Maryland should be a leader in this area.”
The votes in this scorecard were chosen primarily by Maryland LCV’s Board of Directors. The scores, which are given on a percentage basis, are often used by citizens to hold legislators accountable and help enable voters to determine the type of state they will have in years to come.
The full scorecard is available to read online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/99700360/Long-Scorecard-2012
Maryland LCV has also released a series of regional press releases which contain the scores for each region's legislators. The regional press releases can be read online at http://conduitstreet.mdcounties.org/2012/07/13/league-of-conservation-voters-releases-2012-legislator-scorecard/
Contact: Karla Raettig, kraettig(at)mdlcv(dot)org, 410.280.9855 x206 or Pete Johnson, pjohnson(at)mdlcv(dot)org, 410.280.9855 x204 or 240.654.7084 (cell)
Founded in 1979, Maryland League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is non-partisan, 501 (c)(4) known as the political voice for the environment. They have since grown to a full-time, staffed organization that is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Maryland LCV is best known for its comprehensive yearly scorecard that evaluates the environmental votes of individual state legislators. In addition, they regularly alert the public and the media of key actions of elected officials and closely monitor agencies and executive appointments. Read more about Maryland LCV at http://www.mdlcv.org
Summary of 2012 Average Scores
Baltimore’s average scores
Average of Senators in Baltimore Region- 93%
Average of Delegates in Baltimore Region- 95%
Average of Legislators in Baltimore Region- 94%
Central region’s average scores:
Average of Senators in Central Region: 44%
Average of Delegates in Central Region: 54%
Average of Legislators in Central Region: 52%
DC Metro average scores:
Average of Senators: 88%
Average of Delegates: 97%
Average of Legislators: 96%
Eastern Shore average scores:
Average of Senators: 20%
Average of Delegates: 54%
Average of Legislators: 52%
Southern Maryland average scores:
Average of Senators: 52%
Average of Delegates: 66%
Average of Legislators: 63%
Western Maryland average scores:
Average of Senators: 35%
Average of Delegates: 29%
Average of Legislators: 31%