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How did CNY State Lawmakers Vote on Environmental Issues?


The environmental records of Central New York’s senators and assemblymembers are getting mixed reviews in an analysis of their votes during the last legislative session.  The group environmental advocates has released legislators’ scorecards, and Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz says they come with a different backdrop.

"It's hard to contemplate the 2017 state legislative session without reminding folks that it began under a cloud facing New York from Washington that was responsible for anti-environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration and Congress."

But, Iwanowicz says, overall scores are up 5 to 10 points over last year.  That includes Dave Valesky of the Independent Democratic Conference.

"He was below the IDC average of 85 with a 79.  That's 10 points from where he was last year at 69."

Meanwhile, senator John DeFrancisco scored the lowest in the region at 65, but that’s 16 points higher than last year.  In the assembly, Pam Hunter and Bill Magnarelli scored a perfect 100, while Will Barclay came in at 67.  Iwanowicz attributes the rising scores to the assembly not advancing any bill the group gave a negative rating.  And he says the senate only put forth four negative bills. 

"As a result, when they get to the floor, we're seeing fewer of those "gratuitous" votes that people are often required to make because leaders are pandering to special interests.  In this case, there were fewer of those votes, and that in sum is why the scores are up."

The group gave Assemblymembers Gary Finch and Al Stirpe "incompletes" for missing too many votes.  The complete scorecard can be seen here.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at