State lawmakers from both parties are doing better when it comes to their environmental efforts, according to a report from The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.
The bipartisan, statewide, nonprofit organization has tracked how legislators in the House and the Senate vote on legislation for 19 years.
“The 2019 session was a major year for environmental policy in Connecticut, with the passage of the new plastic bag restrictions and greater investments into renewable energies,” Lori Brown, executive director of the CTLCV, said. “We saw many freshman lawmakers making real change in environmental policy, and we want to thank all of our environmental champions for their work.
“However,” she added, “there are still many lawmakers who rank very low and we hope to see them do better next session.”
Among 16 lawmakers the organization singled out as “environmental champions” for their legislative efforts they considered favorable to the environment were Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield; Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport; Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton; Rep. David Michel, D-Stamford; Rep. Anne Hughes, D-Easton; and Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Danbury.
No Fairfield County legislator was among the eight lawmakers classified as “out of sync with the environment.”
The organization said it was particularly pleased by progress made with the expansion of off-shore wind to 2,000 megawatts – the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is expected to name a vendor to establish off-shore wind in the state soon – and by the plastic bag ban, which goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
The group also noted that, as part of the budget, state lawmakers committed to transition 50% of Connecticut’s light-duty fleet and 30% of its public buses to electric, zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
“Connecticut has been paving the way forward as an environmental leader under the destructive Trump administration,” CTLCV Deputy Director Amanda Schoen said. “Our state and federal lawmakers and representatives are fighting for our clean air, earth and water every day.
“We saw scores rise across the 2019 legislative session,” she said, “and the Lamont administration has proven that we can make a real, long-lasting change while we fight for a sustainable future.”