Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Michigan League of Conservation Voters releases 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard for legislators on conservation, environmental issues

ANN ARBOR -- Today, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) released their 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard. This special-edition Scorecard offers a non-partisan window into the voting records of Michigan’s State Representatives and State Senators on conservation and environmental issues during the busy last few weeks of the 2013 - 2014 legislative session.

"We saw serious attacks waged on Michigan’s land, air and water, including bills that promoted air pollution and denied the scientific management of public land, all in the span of a few weeks," said Lisa Wozniak, Michigan LCV executive director. "We also saw strong bipartisan support for clean energy legislation that promotes the reduction of energy waste. Lame Duck legislative sessions are often overlooked, but Michigan LCV members took action to stop bad bills and move good policy forward. Today, we are proud to release a complete description of all that took place in the waning days and hours of the legislative session, and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. Did they or did they not work to protect the natural resources that define our Great Lakes State?"

Upper Peninsula constituents should not be surprised at the following scores for our local state legislators:

State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba -- (R, 38th District, most of the U.P.) and chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes -- received a 2014 Lame Duck session score of 40 percent, up from his original 2013-2014 score of 0 percent, giving him an overall score of 20 percent for 2013-2014. That ties Casperson with House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Andrea LaFontaine (R, District 32), who also received an overall score of 20 percent. Both score in Michigan LCV's "No" category (scores of 0 to 49 percent) on their performance for land, air and water issues. Casperson sponsored three of the Lame Duck session anti-environment bills scored by Michigan LCV.*

State Rep. Scott Dianda of Calumet (D, 110th District) received a Lame Duck session score of 47 percent, down from his 2013-2014 score of 64 percent, giving him an overall new score of 56 percent for 2013-2014. That score puts him in Michigan LCV's "Maybe" category (scores of 50 percent to 74 percent) for his legislative performance on conservation and environmental issues.

Here are the scores of state representatives from the Marquette/ Menominee area:

State Rep. John Kivela of Marquette (D, 109th District):
Lame Duck score: 62 percent
Original 2013-14 score: 56 percent
Overall 2013-14 score: 59 percent ("Maybe")

State Rep. Ed McBroom of Vulcan (R, 108th District):
Lame Duck score: 10 percent
Original 2013-14 score: 51 percent
Overall 2013-14 score: 31 percent ("No")

Michigan LCV’s 2014 Lame Duck Legislative Scorecard scores votes on six bills, including committee votes and votes on the floor of the House and Senate. It also includes bill sponsorship for three bills introduced during the Lame Duck session that would have expanded and strengthened Michigan’s commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Finally, for the first time the Scorecard also includes a count of a conservation majority in the state legislature.

Click here for a full summary of the 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard, including brief descriptions of the lame duck bills.

"The Lame Duck session clearly illustrates that our elected officials in Lansing are sorely lacking a core conservation commitment, which is counter to the assumption held by the majority of citizens in this state. Our Pure Michigan is a shared value among citizens from Detroit to Marquette. Those who represent us in Lansing must understand that their constituents expect strong leadership to protect both our world-class Great Lakes and the amazing outdoors that define our state," said Wozniak. "The legacy of the 2014 Lame Duck session will live on this year, and we look forward to working with Michiganders and state legislators to move Michigan forward."

Click here for the 2014 Lame Duck Legislative Scorecard. See p. 8 for the list of Lame Duck session bills and scroll through the following pages to see how your State Senator and Representative voted.

* See Senate Bills 78, 891, and 910 summarized here.

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