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CT nonprofit scores lawmakers on their environmental votes

The New Haven Harbor.
Molly Ingram
The New Haven Harbor.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters has scored the state's lawmakers on environmental issues, based on their votes in the 2023 legislative session.

The nonpartisan nonprofit has released the scorecards for 23 years.

Executive Director Lori Brown said the scorecards are important because there’s nothing else available to voters to help them understand these issues.

“It is the only tool out there right now that really shows a composite of all of the environmental issues each session and scores our lawmakers,” Brown said. “So, they know something is being scored, like we tell legislators all session long what big issues the environmental leaders are looking to pass and looking to do and each year when something gets on that list, they do pay attention, they know they are going to be held accountable for their votes on that.”

Brown said the scorecard provides information for voters, but it also highlights a lack of transparency in the Connecticut Legislature — specifically about two bills from this year's session.

“Both the major bills failed and that was a really big problem with this past session,” Brown said. “So, while there was a lot of public support and a lot of people were doing action alerts and members were calling lawmakers. For whatever reason the opposition to these various important environmental bills somehow managed to turn the priorities on their head and ended up paying less attention to environmental issues than they should have.”

One failed bill would have brought more transparency to the Metropolitan District of Hartford County, which controls the largest water system in the state. The district's decisions often go against the public interest.

This year’s scorecard shows success for legislation on wildlife in the state and open spaces like parks and recreation.

It also shows significant work remains on climate change and toxins that are affecting pollinators and birds of prey in the state.

The full scorecard is available here.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.