January 6, 2017

Sierra Club Releases Scorecard: State Lawmakers Get Disappointing Grades for 2015-16 Session



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2017
Contact: Mike Berkowitz, (248) 345-9808, mike.berkowitz@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club: State Lawmakers Get Disappointing Grades in 2015-2016 Legislative Session
Latest scorecard shows legislators failed to protect the environment or grow the green economy

LANSING - The Michigan Senate received a failing grade on the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter’s annual Legislative Scorecard, while the Michigan House didn’t fare much better.

The Scorecard, which tracked environmental voting behavior of state House and Senate members during the 2015-16 legislative session, gave the Senate a failing score of 55 percent, while the House narrowly passed with a score of 61 percent.

While the Scorecard generally showed that Democrats voted to maintain or strengthen environmental protections, Republicans often voted to weaken or eliminate environmental protections – actions that could have a devastating effect on Michigan’s economy.

“The 2015-2016 state Legislature was regressive when it comes to environmental protection, rolling back many of the safeguards we’ve had in place for decades. It’s shameful that the environment has become a partisan political issue,” said Mike Berkowitz, the Michigan Legislative Director for the Sierra Club. “Environmental protections are a no-brainer for all Michigan residents. Our members find it hard to believe that so many of our lawmakers are voting against clean air, clean water, and public health – all of which are vital not only for healthy living but also for a healthy tourism industry, one of the state’s largest economic drivers. We hope that incoming lawmakers will see our scorecard and be motivated to get rid of this anti-environment attitude in the next legislative session.”

The Sierra Club’s Scorecard calculated the results based upon 17 roll call votes in the House and Senate for the 2015-2016 legislative session. According to the Scorecard, House Democrats scored an average of 94 percent, while House Republicans scored an average of 36 percent. Senate Democrats scored an average of 91 percent, while Senate Republicans scored an average of 39 percent. Thirty-three lawmakers scored 100 percent, significantly more than the 2013-14 session when only four lawmakers got a perfect mark.

A full list of “Environmental Champions” (90-100 percent), “Environmental Stewards” (78-89 percent), and “Pollution Promoters” (zero-35 percent) is included at the end of this release.

Sterling Heights state Sen. Tory Rocca (R-10) was the highest scoring Republican with 82 percent, second highest in the GOP was Troy state Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-41) at 71 percent, and third highest was state Sen. Rick Jones (R-24) from Grand Ledge at 59 percent. Representatives Charles Brunner (D-96) and Scott Dianda (D-110) were the lowest scoring House Democrats, receiving a 71 percent. Sen. Virgil Smith (D-4) was the lowest scoring Senate Democrat with a 70 percent (Sen. Ian Conyers got a 50% but it was based on a very small sample size including only 2 votes). The full scorecard is available here. A full description of the bills included in the scorecard is available here.

“Our legislature has the wrong priorities when it comes to protecting Michigan’s environment,” said James D’Amour, a member of Michigan Sierra Club’s Political Committee who was once an active member of the Republican Party. “Clean air and clean water should not be partisan issues. We used to be leaders in making conservation a top priority, but no longer. The direction of the GOP is disappointing and disheartening for Republicans like me who care about protecting the environment while creating green jobs.”

###


The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, with over 80,000 members and supporters in Michigan.




MICHIGAN SENATE


Environmental Champions (90-100% score)

District Name Party Score (%)
1 Coleman Young II D 100
2 Bert Johnson D 100
3 Morris Hood III D 100
11 Vincent Gregory D 100
18 Rebekah Warren D 100
27 Jim Ananich D 100
6 Hoon-Yung Hopgood D 94
9 Steven Bieda D 94
23 Curtis Hertel Jr. D 94



Environmental Stewards (78-89% score)

DistrictNamePartyScore (%)
5 David Knezek D 88
10 Tory Rocca R 82


Pollution Promoters (35% and below)

DistrictNamePartyScore (%)
12 Jim Marleau R 35
13 Marty Knollenburg R 35
14 David Robertson R 35
15 Mike Kowall R 35
17 Dale Zorn R 35
21 John Proos R 35
25 Phil Pavlov R 35
26 Tonya Schuitmaker R 35
28 Peter MacGregor R 35
29 Dave Hildenbrand R 35
30 Arlan Meekhof R 35
33 Judy Emmons R 35
34 Goeff Hansen R 35
35 Darwin Booher R 35
36 Jim Stamas R 35
37 Wayne Schmidt R 35
16 Mike Shirkey R 29



MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


Environmental Champions (90-100% score)


District Name Party Score (%)
1 Brian Banks D 100
2 Alberta Talabi D 100
5 Fred Durhal D 100
6 Stephanie Chang D 100
8 Sherry Gay-Dagnogo D 100
11 Julie Plawecki D 100
11 Lauren Plawecki D 100
12 Erika Geiss D 100
15 George Darany D 100
18 Sarah Roberts D 100
21 Kristy Pagan D 100
25 Henry Yanez D 100
26 Jim Townsend D 100
27 Robert Wittenberg D 100
28 Derek Miller D 100
28 Patrick Green D 100
35 Jeremy Moss D 100
37 Christine Greig D 100
48 Pam Faris D 100
52 Gretchen Driskell D 100
53 Jeff Irwin D 100
55 Adam Zemke D 100
60 Jon Hoadley D 100
69 Sam Singh D 100
76 Winnie Brinks D 100
92 Marcia Hovey-Wright D 100
95 Vanessa Guerra D 100
3 Wendell Byrd D 94
7 LaTanya Garrett D 94
13 Frank Liberati D 94
29 Tim Greimel D 94
31 Marilyn Lane D 94
67 Tom Cochran D 94
68 Andy Schor D 94
4 Rose Mary Robinson D 94
22 John Chirkun D 94
75 David LaGrand D 92


Environmental Stewards (78-89% score)

DistrictNamePartyScore (%)
10 Leslie Love D 88
34 Sheldon Neeley D 88
49 Phil Phelps D 88
109 John Kivela D 88
16 Robert Kosowski D 88
9 Harvey Santana D 82
17 Bill LaVoy D 82
50 Charles Smiley D 82
54 David Rutledge D 82


Pollution Promoters (35% and below)

DistrictNamePartyScore (%)

19 Laura Cox R 35
24 Anthony Forlini R 35
32 Andrea LaFontaine R 35
36 Peter Lucido R 35
38 Kathy Crawford R 35
39 Klint Kesto R 35



42 Lana Theis R 35
43 Jim Tedder R 35
44 Jim Runestad R 35
45 Michael Webber R 35
47 Hank Vaupel R 35
51 Joseph Graves R 35
56 Jason Sheppard R 35
57 Nancy Jenkins R 35
58 Eric Leutheuser R 35
59 Aaron Miller R 35
61 Brandt Iden R 35
63 David Maturen R 35
66 Aric Nesbitt R 35
70 Rick Outman R 35
73 Chris Afendoulis R 35
74 Rob VerHeulen R 35
79 Al Pscholka R 35
81 Dan Lauwers R 35
86 Lisa Lyons R 35
87 Mike Callton R 35
88 Roger Victory R 35
89 Amanda Price R 35
90 Daniela Garcia R 35
91 Holly Hughes R 35
93 Tom Leonard R 35
97 Joel Johnson R 35
99 Kevin Cotter R 35
102 Phil Potvin R 35
107 Lee Chatfield R 35
20 Kurt Heise R 33
80 Mary Whiteford R 33
23 Pat Somerville R 29
33 Ken Goike R 29
46 Bradford Jacobsen R 29
64 Earl Poleski R 29
71 Tom Barrett R 29
72 Ken Yonker R 29
77 Tom Hooker R 29
94 Tim Kelly R 29
98 Gary Glenn R 29
100 Jon Bumstead R 29
105 Triston Cole R 29
101 Ray Franz R 24



###