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Sierra Club 2013 Legislative Report Card
SACRAMENTO—The state legislature, as a whole, performed poorly on key environmental legislation in 2013 according to Sierra Club California’s annual legislative report card.
The report card evaluates legislators’ environmental record based on 11 bills. Those bills were selected for scoring because of their overall importance to environmental quality, the precedent they set for good or bad impacts, and their importance to fulfilling the Sierra Club’s mission to protect the planet.
“It’s no secret that this year was a tough one for environmental legislation,” said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. “This report card just confirms that with numbers.”
The report card translates the value of votes—for or against the Sierra Club’s position—into a percentage. This year, no legislators earned 100 percent. The highest scores in the Senate, 90 percent, were earned by Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Bill Monning (D-Carmel). In the Assembly, the highest score was an 89 percent earned by Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).
A large number of legislators of both parties earned scores of less than 60 percent, particularly in the Assembly.
“This year we started with 39 freshman legislators, people who had never served in the California Legislature. Many of them were still learning the complexities of the issues and legislative politics as the session came to a close,” said Phillips. “As they get more experience, I think they’ll become more confident and make wiser decisions on environmental issues.”
Sierra Club California’s website: http://www.sierraclubcalifornia.org.