Maryland LCV Releases 2016 Environmental Scorecards

IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
 
For more information contact:
July 25, 2016
Karla Raettig, 202-674-3174 (c)
 
MARYLAND LCV SCORECARD LAUDS LEGISLATURE FOR STRONG ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT BUT SAYS SOME PRIORITIES OVERLOOKED OR DEFEATED
 
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Annapolis, MD – Maryland General Assembly gets positive marks for passing strong legislation on climate change and pesticides but loses points for failing to ban plastic bags and protect underserved communities from harmful health and community impacts, according to the 2016 Environmental Scorecard released this week by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV).  
 
The scorecard highlights the environmental voting record of all 188 legislators, and describes the General Assembly’s overall record on those issues each year. 
 
“Maryland legislators demonstrated strong leadership on environmental issues, but our scorecard showcases tremendous opportunities for growth and improvement,” says Karla Raettig, executive director of Maryland LCV. “Our elected officials made great strides in passing strong legislation to promote renewable energy and aggressively reduce Maryland’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as landmark legislation eliminating harmful pesticides from consumer use.”
 
Despite these important victories, the environmental community was unable to secure passing votes on several other critical issues. Legislation died in committee that would have cleaned waterways and provided opportunities for underserved communities to protect their health and neighborhoods in more meaningful ways. In addition, the group highlighted the legislators’ failure to reduce agricultural pollution and increase the reliability and safety of public transit vehicles.
 
“We look forward to working with the General Assembly next year to aggressively address issues of environmental justice, climate change, trash, and bay pollution,” says Marcia Verploegen Lewis, Board Chair of Maryland LCV.
 
Lewis said that Maryland LCV will work with legislators to overturn the Governor’s veto of Renewable Portfolio Standards legislation that would have increased the amount of the amount of energy used by Maryland in an effort to confront climate change and reduce greenhouse gasses.
 
“This will be a top priority of the organization in the next legislative session,” said Lewis. “Make no mistake about it.”
 
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 www.mdlcv.org/scorecards to see the scorecard.  Maryland LCV has created an interactive map with legislative voting information, which provides citizens with contact information for their legislators.
 
“The legislature will be confronting many serious issues next year, and we rely on Maryland LCV scorecard to hold legislators accountable for their votes. The scores help all of us to talk with colleagues to craft our 2017 environmental agendas,” says Delegate Shane Robinson, who chairs the Montgomery County Delegation.
 
Go to www.mdlcv.org/scorecards for past scorecards and follow #MDLCVScore on social media.
 
 
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The Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) is a state-wide, nonpartisan organization that uses political action and education to protect our air, land and water. Maryland LCV endorses and elects pro-conservation candidates and holds elected officials accountable through legislative scorecards. A leading legislative watchdog in Annapolis, we have advocated for smart environmental policies for more than 35 years, working to make Maryland a healthy and prosperous place for families and communities. Maryland LCV protects public health by fighting for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, preserving green spaces, promoting smarter growth and increasing Maryland’s investment in clean energy.