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Photo courtesy of NYLCV

Queens Democrats care about the environment, according to a New York-based voter organization.

Last week, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) released their 2018 State Environmental Scorecard, which scores politicians based on their actions toward environmental and public health issues. Overall, Democrats in Queens scored 92 percent in the Senate and 77 percent in the Assembly out of a scale of 0 to 100.

“Bills that passed their respective house of the legislature were graded on whether or not each legislator took the pro-environment vote. An unexcused missed vote is counted the same as an anti-environmental vote, though we did not count excused absences against the final score. Scored bills that did not reach a floor vote were graded on co-sponsorship,” according to the NYLCV.

The nonprofit organization said that each politician was scored on a scale of 0 to 100. Scores were determined by dividing the number of pro-environmental votes or bill sponsorships by the total number of bills each member was scored on.

The report showed that Senator Jose Peralta earned a perfect score of 100 percent, while Assemblywomen Aravella Simotas and Ari Espinal scored 92 percent and 90 percent respectively. Politicians were graded on a total of 13 bills that ran the gamut of issues from offshore drilling to transportation. The full list of bills are as follows:

  • Paint Stewardship
  • Drug Takeback Act
  • State Transporation Plan
  • Toxic Show and Tell
  • Pollinator Friendly Solar
  • Water Saving Performance Standards
  • Preservation Fund for Bethlehem
  • Elevated Blood Lead Level
  • Farmland Protection
  • Carryout Waste Bag Reduction
  • Prohibits Offshore Drilling
  • Harvesting Menhaden with Purse Seines
  • Working Farm Protection Act

According to the scorecard, Peralta took pro-environment action for all 13 issues. Simotas took anti-environment action against a bill which bans single-use plastic bags in the state and was excused from the bill which would ban big boats from the Atlantic menhaden fishery. Espinal was excused from acting upon three bills: Water Saving Performance Standards, Elevated Blood Lead Levels and Prohibits Offshore Drilling.

The NYLCV has lobbied for state and local elected officials on environmental issues since 1989, while also holding politicians accountable for their actions. According to the organization, this is the second year they are releasing a State Legislative Environmental Scorecard and the first year the scorecard is being released during an election year.

For the full 2018 NYLVC scorecard, click here.

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