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E-M:/ PRESS RELEASE: Michigan LCV Scorecard: Michigan Legislators Doing a Better Job on the Environment



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Enviro-Mich message from Michele Scarborough <mec@voyager.net>
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July 16, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Ann Arbor, MI

Contact Dana Debel (734) 222-9650

MICHIGAN LEGISLATORS DOING BETTER JOB ON THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT MORE
LEADERSHIP NEEDED

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) released its
2002 Scorecard on the web today at www.michiganlcv.org. It shows that
while more positive environmental legislation was accomplished this
session than last session, there is still a long way to go before the
balance between sound conservation policy and solid economic growth is
restored in Michigan.

While the 2001-2002 legislative session saw some positive changes, such
as limiting the introduction of exotic species into the Great Lakes,
phasing out the use of environmentally hazardous products like mercury
thermometers, and the research and release of the Senate Great Lakes
Task Force Report, other good legislation was stymied in committee or
watered down to where its impact was minimal.

“Michigan is a beautiful state, centered in the heart of the Great
Lakes. Our lawmakers have a tremendous responsibility. They must protect
some of the world’s most precious and irreplaceable natural resources
for today and future generations,” said Dana Debel, Executive Director
of Michigan LCV.

The Scorecard is a tool to educate Michigan’s citizens about the impact
government can have on our clean air and water. In addition it provides
voters with information that helps them separate true stewards of
Michigan’s environment from those who are willing to sacrifice our Great
Lakes and pleasant peninsulas. The Michigan League of Conservation
Voters’ Scorecard  gives  objective, factual information about the
voting records of Michigan’s State Senators and Representatives, thus
helping  voters separate the true stewards of Michigan’s air, waters and
other natural resources from those who are willing to sacrifice those
resources.

“This is a tool for Michigan voters to use to hold their representatives
in Lansing accountable,” said Debel. “Legislators’ votes, leadership and
interest improved since we published our first scorecard two years ago,
which shows that the Scorecard makes a difference.”

Experts from Michigan's environmental and conservation organizations
made nominations to Michigan LCV suggesting which votes should be
included in the Scorecard. That group then reviewed those nominations to
identify votes that (1) best reflected a clear choice about whether or
not to protect the environment, and (2) were viewed as especially
important by a range of organizations.  After the issues were chosen,
the legislative scores were determined. Final approval of the Scorecard
was made by Michigan LCV's Board of Directors. The Scorecard represents
the last two year term for the State House and the last four year term
for the State Senate.

This Scorecard, the second for Michigan LCV, adds a new element to the
scoring. In the past, the Scorecard included only  votes taken on the
floor of the House and Senate. But to distinguish the good legislators
from the bad, votes alone cannot tell the whole story. For that reason,
we have incorporated a leadership mark into this Scorecard. This mark
is  meant to distinguish those legislators who have worked “behind the
scenes” to make things happen on environmental and conservation
legislation. It might reflect a legislator’s attempt to hold special
hearings on an important issue, carrying forward the conservation
message against opposition, or their work behind the scenes to build
support for environmental or conservation priorities. Fifteen
Representatives and six Senators received this notation.

###


--
Michele Scarborough
Member Services Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 fax
http://www.mecprotects.org




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