Hudson Valley Lawmakers Get Highest – and Lowest – Environmental Marks

In Brief – State Legislators received grades on their environmental voting records from a New York-based conservation group in a report released this week.

EPL/Environmental Advocates, an advocacy and lobbying group, tallies the voting records of all New York State Senators and Assemblymembers at the end of each legislative session, compiling the results into an “environmental scorecard.”

Several Hudson Valley legislators received perfect scores, voting for every piece of legislation meant to protect the environment.

State Sens. Pete Harckham (D-Putnam, S. Dutchess) and Jen Metzger (D-Sullivan, S. Ulster) received scores of 100.

“We are blessed with a wealth of natural and scenic resources in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, and I take very seriously my responsibility as a state legislator to protect them,” according to a statement by Metzger. “Our health and well-being, and the economy of the region, depend on good environmental stewardship.”

In the state Assembly, Hudson Valley Assemblymembers Didi Barrett (D-Columbia, W. Dutchess), Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster), and Aileen Gunther (D-Sullivan, N. Orange) also received perfect scores.

On the other end of the spectrum, two Hudson Valley Senators tied for having the lowest scores in the entire Senate.

George Amedore (R-N. Ulster, Greene) and Daphne Jordan (R-Columbia) each received a score of 49 for their votes regarding the environment.

Amedore received the EPL/Environmental Advocates “Oil Slick Award” for his “consistently-poor environmental record” and “abandonment of environmental principles,” according to the report.

EPL/Environmental Advocates looked at how legislators voted on 35 bills that could positively impact the environment. The group also traditionally looks at how legislators voted on bills that could negatively impact the environment, but no such bills were voted on in either the senate or the assembly this year, “a major shift from years past,” according to the report.

The 2018 elections put the senate in the hands of the Democrats. With the already-Democratic assembly, they were able to pass legislation impossible in years past.

The marquee legislation was the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which intends to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, according to the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June.

Sens. Amedore, Jordan and Serino voted against the bill.

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