Annapolis, MD – The Maryland General Assembly acted on many key environmental issues this year, according to the 2015 Environmental Scorecard released Sunday by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV). The Scorecard assesses all 188 legislators’ voting records on environmental issues and describes the General Assembly’s overall 2015 record.
“This year, Maryland legislators earned significantly higher scores for their environmental votes than in years past,” said Marcia Verploegen Lewis, chair of Maryland LCV. “We believe this is because of our work in educating legislators over the years about these urgent issues and the bipartisan support for these priorities in Maryland.”
In 2015, Senate Democrats earned an average environmental score of 95 percent and Senate Republicans averaged 46 percent. House Democrats averaged a 99 percent score and House Republicans a 46 percent score.
Beginning with a new Administration and more than 60 new legislators, the 2015 Maryland General Assembly took several important actions to ensure Maryland is a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities, to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, and to promote clean energy.
A few examples are:
· SB 409/ HB 449: Enacting a 2.5 year fracking moratorium in Maryland;
· SB 863: Eliminating the requirement for large counties to charge a polluted runoff fee but strengthening the overall program;
· HB 1087: Expanding access to solar energy for those who are not able to install solar panels on their own homes.
“Marylanders value the environment and elected officials responded this year. During the three month session, our advocates sent more than 10,000 emails and made nearly 1,000 phone calls to legislators, urging them to protect our quality of life and our natural resources,” stated Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV.
As a part of the Latino Outreach Program, Maryland LCV also developed a Spanish insert to complement the scorecard. The material outlines the new Latino Caucus and their environmental leadership and their scores along with the districts with significant Latino populations in Maryland. It also can be found online at http://scorecard.mdlcv.org.
The Scorecard is available online and includes records of votes cast on the floor of the House and Senate and in committees, along with past voting records. Go to http://scorecard.mdlcv.org to see the 2015 Scorecard and follow #MDLCVScore on social media. Maryland LCV has created an interactive map with legislative voting information, which also provides citizens with contact information for their legislators.