House, Senate leadership credited for environmental gains

July 15, 2004|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters released a report yesterday saying state environmental initiatives have fared better in the past two years, in part because of improved leadership from the state House of Delegates and Senate.

But the league's 12th General Assembly Scorecard pointed to a growing gap between the scores of Republican and Democratic lawmakers, with Republican scores continuing a downward trend.

Republicans scored, on average, less than half as well as Democrats, the report said. On a scale of 1 to 100, with high scores reflecting what the league considers helpful votes on environmental legislation, Republicans scored 72 points lower than their Democratic colleagues in the Senate and 60 points lower in the House.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch scored a perfect 100 in 2003-2004, up from an 86 in 2001-2002 (the last time the group performed the analysis), while Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller scored a 92 percent in 2003-2004, up from 70 percent in 2001-2002, according to the report. Both are Democrats.

"It's good to see the increasing scores for the leadership of the House and Senate," said Susan Brown, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

"But the bad trend is the growing gap between the Republicans and Democrats, with the Republicans becoming increasingly anti-environmental," she said.

To see the full report, go to www.mdlcv.org/MDLCVScore card04.pdf.

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