In new ratings of state legislators on environmental issues for the 107th General Assembly, Tennessee Conservation Voters has given its highest score to Democratic Sen. Beverly Marrero of Memphis while three Republican senators tied for the lowest ranking. They are Sens. Mike Bell of Riceville, Mike Faulk of Church Hill and Jim Summerville of Dickson.
The ratings are based on action by legislators on 16 different bills in the 2012 session – in some cases on votes, in some cases on sponsorship of legislation the group either supported or opposed – a positive point for each action approved, a negative point for each action it opposed. There was a similar system for 2011.
Top score, a plus 13, for the two-year life of the 107th General Assembly went to Marrero followed by two other Democrats at plus 10, Sens. Andy Berke of Chattanooga and Eric Stewart of Belvidere.
The highest-ranking House members were Reps. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, and Mike McDonald, D-Gallatin, with a plus 7. One point back were fellow Democratic Reps. Jeanne Richardson of Memphis and Mike Stewart of Nashville.
The lowest scores went to Bell, Faulk and Summerville at a minus 4 for the two years of the 107th. Next in line was Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, the lowest rated House member at minus 3.
The best ranking for a Republican lawmaker was plus 4, a score shared by Reps. Bill Dunn of Knoxville, Jimmy Eldridge of Jackson and Judd Matheny of Tullahoma.
The lowest ranking for a Democrat was an even zero for Rep. Harry Tindell, D-Knoxville. Five other Democrats had a plus 1 (one), including Rep. Joe Armstrong, also from Knoxville.
The full scorecard is HERE.
The TVC news release is below.
News release from Tennessee Conservation Voters:
Nashville, TN (Aug., 2012) Tennessee Conservation Voters, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Tennessee’s environment, announces the release of its 10th annual Legislative Scorecard. The TCV scorecard is published to provide a clear and concise way to understand and evaluate each legislator’s voting record on key legislation in 2012.
TCV board president Mary Helen Clarke explains:
“For a decade TCV has been publishing this scorecard on state environmental votes. We think it is unique on the state level because, in addition to tracking the issues that have the public’s attention, we try to reflect patterns of support or opposition for the issues that matter over time.”
Longtime TCV board member Daniel Boone notes:
We work hard to quantify legislative votes and sponsorships in an objective way. The 2012 TCV Scorecard demonstrates that this was a mixed year for environmental law and policy in Tennessee. We had some important victories in 2012, including the continuation of Conservation Land Funding for the protection of wetlands, parks and farmland. But it’s disappointing that legislators were not willing to consider and vote on some of the most important issues – like mountain top removal coal mining.”
The top-ranked Senators on the scorecard were Beverly Marrero, Eric Stewart and Andy Berke.
The top-ranked Representatives were Brenda Gilmore, Mike Kernell, Mike McDonald, Mike Stewart and Jeanne Richardson.
To see an electronic version of the Scorecard, visit our website at www.tnconservationvoters.org and click on the TCV News section. To receive a printed copy of this year’s Scorecard, please contact our office at: (615) 269-9090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.