League of Conservation Voters Grades Legislature: C, With Asterisk

The New York League of Conservation Voters is out with its annual report card on the state legislature, and in a nod to Roger Maris, the group gives Albany a C*. The asterisk is due to the fact that the legislature made “adequate” progress, but on what  the NYLCV calls “a very modest set of priorities.”

They give the legislature credit for passing The Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which instructs state agencies and corporations to prioritze existing infrastructure and preserve open space, and for a new electronics recycling law that takes the burden of recycling away from municipalities and puts it on the shoulders of the manufacturers. But the NYLCV calls it “devastating” that the legislature cut the Environmental Protection Fund 37%, money which goes to open space and farmland protection. Plus, the Senate Republicans, along with upstate Democrats Darrel Aubertine and David Valesky balked at a solar bill, saying that it would lead to rate increases.

The NYLCV says that they laid out their agenda at the start of the legislative year–aware of the faltering economy–and so “prioritized discrete initiatives that would support New York’s economic recovery and cost little or nothing to implement. “

Says NYLCV president Marica Bystryn: “The failure to consistently advance even a modest set of goals reflects the lack of committed environmental leadership in Albany. Sustainability is not a luxury for the good years; our report shows that New York needs more leaders who understand that sustainability is the way forward to a healthier and more economically vibrant New York.”

The whole report can be found here