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Dems climb, GOP slips, state wins

October 11, 2019 05:16 pm

A new analysis of legislative voting records compiled by the Environmental Planning Lobby found that the state Legislature took major steps toward creating a healthier environment in New York this past year.

The legislature phased out the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos, banned PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam and constitutionally guaranteed New Yorkers the right to clean air and water. That’s not a bad year’s work for a legislature often criticized for dragging its feet.

The legislature had the most environmentally friendly session in “a generation,” according to the EPL report. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which has been referred to as one of the most ambitious climate targets nationally and globally, stole the show.

Some of the lawmakers commended for top voting scores include state Sen. Jen Metzger, D-42, and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106. Both legislators received perfect scores from the EPL, which evaluated votes on various environmental bills brought to the floor this session. Congratulations to them.

Some upstate Republican legislators did not fare as well. State Sen. George Amedore Jr., R-46, received the Oil Slick Award — earning him a 49, lowest out of 100. Amedore voted against the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the constitutional right of New Yorkers to have clean air and water, prevention of off-shore drilling and phasing out chlorpyrifos.

As the Trump administration works to gut environmental protections, the state Legislature is doing what it can to safeguard natural resources and public health. Democratic lawmakers rated highly, Republican lawmakers not so much, but in this EPL report, all of New York state came out a winner.