Thirty-five Legislators Are Recognized for Their Votes on the 2014 Environmental Scorecard

The Illinois Environmental Council released its 2014 Environmental Scorecard on Monday, August 22, 2014.  35 legislators were honored for their voting records. View a copy of the 2014 scorecard here.

The 2014 Environmental Scorecard included eleven individual legislative measures. Bills on the 2014 Environmental Scorecard include:

  • New rules for farmers markets to support local farmers and local food. (HB5657)
  • An authorization for the procurement of up to $30 million in solar power by the Illinois Power Agency. (HB2427).
  • New protections for cougars, bears, and wolves. (SB3049)
  • A ban on microbeads in personal care products to protect the Great Lakes – the first such ban in the world. (SB2727).
  • A study on urban flooding by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. (SB2966)
  • An expansion of the clean water initiative to fund loans for green stormwater infrastructure and pollution prevention projects. (SB2780).

A few items of note on the 2014 Environmental Scorecard from Executive Director, Jen Walling.

  • The Senate did not call for a vote any of the bills opposed by the environmental community in 2014.  Thus, the Senate overall did an excellent job.  We congratulate the entire Senate and would like to encourage both chambers to not call anti-environment legislation.  However, because so many senators received 100%, we chose to award the scorecard award only to those senators that sponsored SB103, the fix to the renewable energy portfolio standards.
  • Perhaps what is just as important are the votes not on the scorecard.  SB649 which would have gutted the Illinois fracking law and the several bills on the Illiana Tollway were not called for a vote.  The failure to call these bills was a success for environmentalists across the state.  However, the failure to call SB103 – the fix to the RPS law – was a blow to the future of renewable energy.  We hope that this will be on the scorecard in 2014.
  • The House is scored both on the vote on HR782 and on the motion to discharge HR782.  This was a rare motion that skipped a hearing in the House Environment Committee.  These votes are extraordinarily problematic and we are dismayed by both the content of this anti-climate change resolution and the conduct of the House in skipping a public hearing on the issue.
  • Many House members would have received 100% if it weren’t for HB4226, a bill to allow bobcat hunting.  We strongly opposed this bill along with the Illinois Sierra Club and many local Audubon Society chapters.  Bobcats have only begun their recovery in Illinois and in many counties have not recovered enough to be hunted.
  • This year’s scorecard is full of House members that only took their seat within the last 2 years or so called House “Freshman” such as Reps. Conroy, Drury, Fine, Mitchell, Moeller, Sims, Yingling, and Welch.   In the Senate, Sen. Bush, Cullerton, Hastings, and Morrison are also new legislators. Congrats and we hope you keep up the trend for your entire legislative career!

IEC has been producing this scorecard for over forty years and it is an incredibly important tool to measure how a legislator voted on environmental issues.   You can view nearly 40 years of past scorecards here. 

But because Springfield is complex and committee votes, co-sponsorships, and on the ground work to kill or support a bill matter just as much, we present this scorecard as a tool in the toolbox we offer to environmentalists in the state.  Be sure to continue to follow our newsletter for regular updates on state level environmental issues.

 

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The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) is a non-partisan 39 year-old organization that promotes sound environmental laws and policies, provides a forum for environmentalists and facilitates a statewide activist network. IEC performs legislative advocacy and serves as the environmental community’s eyes, ears and voice in Springfield.

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