Washington Conservation Voters, the political voice for the environment, released their Scorecard for the 2013 and 2014 state legislative sessions.
Published once every two years since 1992, Washington Conservation Voters’ Scorecard is the best guide to environmental politics in Washington state. It is the clearest accountability tool showing how legislators succeeded or failed to protect the environment. It is read by thousands of voters, elected officials, and opinion leaders across the state. It not only scores the environmental voting records of individual state legislators, but also paints the picture of the past two sessions.
We had a timely and very achievable legislative agenda in 2013 and 2014 that unfortunately the Legislature did not pass – from implementing clean energy solutions, banning toxic flame retardants, and protecting our communities against oil spills. As we worked to solve these and other critical issues like climate change, we encountered some roadblocks from the Senate Majority Caucus Coalition and Big Oil lobby.
“The Scorecard highlights our need to have a conversation about our values as a state. This past biennium an anti-environmental Senate and the Big Oil lobby stood in the way of what Washingtonians care about – the health of our environment, communities, and families,” said Joan Crooks, CEO of Washington Conservation Voters. “Our Scorecard gives voters a close look at who has stood up for the environment over the last two years, who has not, and allows us to hold those in our way accountable.”
As the political voice for the environment WCV makes sure voters have the information they need, when they need it because every active participant in the democratic process makes our communities a better place. WCV will continue to work with voters and legislators on important environmental issues like climate change until real progress is made. “In the coming year, we will work to educate our elected officials and build a bipartisan commitment to healthy communities.” said Clifford Traisman, State Lobbyist. “That is the only way we will be able to protect and improve the health of Washington’s environment.”
The Scorecard includes 12 Senate votes and 8 House votes, on issues ranging from public health protections, to clean energy standards, to land-use protections. These votes came at a time under the new anti-environmental Majority Caucus Coalition, which took control of the Senate at the start of the 2013 Legislative Session. This illustrates the challenge we had in front of us: having to spend too much time protecting against rollbacks of even the most core environmental protections, and failing to make progress on important issues like climate change. In the Senate, 20 senators scored over 80%, while 30 scored under 50%. In the House, 53 representatives scored over 80%, and 47 scored under 50%.
The complete WCV 2013-2014 Legislative Scorecard can be viewed online at: http://wcvoters.org/scorecard/2014.