Tonawanda News

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October 9, 2012

Local pols ranked on environment

Tonawanda News — An environmental advocacy group released its annual scorecard showing legislators had the least productive year for New York state’s ecological agenda in recent memory. 

The scorecard was formulated on a points system put together by Environmental Advocates of New York. The regional average based off a total of 100 points for all of Western New York’s senators was a paltry 32 points. The Assembly average, by comparison, was nearly

60 points.

While Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan (91) was ranked at the top of the list of pro-environment bills he backed, according to the report, Republican Sens. Michael R. Ranzenhofer (28) and Mark Grisanti (35) both came in toward the bottom. 

Assemblyman Sean Hanna, who represents the suburbs of Rochester and was a former regional director for the Department of Environmental Conservation, is considered to have the worst voting record. 

Grisanti, who holds a commanding lead over his Democratic opponent Mike Amodeo according to recent polls, is chairman of the state Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. 

Democratic Assemblyman Robin Schimminger scored just over the half-way mark at 52, while Sen. George Maziarz had one of the lowest scores in the local political lineup at 31. 

Overall, Western New York politicians’ scores were mixed with the Senate ranking near the bottom of voting records. Many in the Assembly were closer to the median range.  

The last year of legislative sessions was one of the “potentially most damaging” according to Rob Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates. 

“Few regions had as dramatic a contrast in voting records as Western New York,” Moore said in a statement. “We saw scores fall across the board for each of the legislative conferences based on a variety of factors, including the lack of action on bills most critical to our environmental health, as well as an increase in the passage of bills that actually do harm.” 

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