Environmental Rankings Up for NJ Democrats, Down for Republicans

Assemblyman John McKeon. PolitickerNJ

Democrats were strong supporters of legislation to protect the environment while Republicans typically voted against bills backed by conservationists, according the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

The LCV on Wednesday released its bi-annual scorecard of how state lawmakers voted on bills the group supported or opposed in 2016 and 2017. The LCV advocates for clean air and water, open space and policies that address climate change.

The average Democrat in the state Assembly and Senate voted in line the LCV’s interests 89 percent of the time, according to the scorecard. That marks an improvement for Democrats, who averaged 80 percent in the Assembly and 79 percent in the Senate in 2015.

Republicans did significantly worse. The average Senate Republican voted in agreement with the LCV 41 percent of the time, while Assembly Republicans scored a 33 percent. The GOP grades are down from 2015, when Senate Republicans averaged 52 percent and Assembly Republicans received a 41 percent score.

Senators Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer), Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Bob Smith had the highest scores in the Senate with 95 percent each. Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) was the worst with a 20 percent voting record, followed by Senators. Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) and Michael Doherty (R-Warren) at 25 percent each.

In the Assembly, John McKeon (D-Essex), Mila Jasey (D-Essex) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer) were the top scorers with 95 percent each. Assembly members Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-Burlington), Brian Rumpf (R-Ocean) and Parker Space (R-Sussex) were at the bottom with 18 percent each.

While Republicans by and large scored poorly, there were a few exceptions. Sen. Chris “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) voted with the LCV 90 percent of the time. Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) scored an 86 percent.

The lowest scoring Democrats in each chamber both came from the 1st district. Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) received a 65 percent score, while Assemblyman Bruce Land (D-Cumberland) agreed with the LCV 68 percent of the time.

Environmental Rankings Up for NJ Democrats, Down for Republicans