AUSTIN – Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Donna Howard were the only two legislators to get perfect marks on Environment Texas’ biennial scorecard of environmental votes in the Texas Legislature, the group reported today. Meanwhile a record 27 legislators failed to cast a single vote for the environment.
"The legislature did not do right by the environment this session” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “Lawmakers weakened the rights of Texans and local governments to fight pollution and took away support for wind energy.”
“I’m very grateful to Sen. Watson and Rep. Howard, who both proved themselves champions for the environment this session – working tirelessly in committee and on the floor and voting time and time again to put public health ahead of polluters’ interests," continued Metzger.
Environment Texas tracked eight votes each in the House and Senate, including votes on clean air, wind energy, bee protection, tire dumping and more.
Environment Texas noted a steady decline in voting for the environment in the Texas Legislature over the last three legislative sessions. In 2013, House members voted for the environment 63% of the time on average and Senators 64%. In 2015, House members voted for the environment 59% of the time and Senators 56%. In 2017, the average score of Senators was 43% and the House 34%.
Bringing down the average were 27 legislators voting for the environment 0% of the time. By comparison, the 2015 session only had 2 legislators earn zeros.
Senate: Konni Burton, Bob Hall, Van Taylor
House: DeWayne Burns, Briscoe Cain, Pat Fallon, Craig Goldman, Cole Hefner, Mark Keogh, Stephanie Klick, Matt Krause, Mike Lang, Jeff Leach, Will Metcalf, Andrew Murr, Tom Oliverson, Dennis Paul, Matt Rinaldi, Scott Sanford, Matt Schaefer, Leighton Schubert, Matt Shaheen, Hugh Shine, Jonathan Stickland, Valoree Swanson, Tony Tinderholt, and Terry Wilson
"Our scorecards help Texans know which legislators are standing up for clean air and water and which are siding with big polluters against our health," concluded Metzger. “It’s clear that elections matter and we urge voters to consider this information in the voting booths next year.”
Environment Texas's scorecards for 2017 and previous years are available online at http://environmenttexas.org/page/txe/legislative-scorecards
Environment Texas is a grassroots advocate for clean air, clean water and open spaces.