GOOD Morning Wilton received the following press releases today from State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and State Sen. Will Haskell (D-26).

Lavielle Named Environmental Champion for 7th Time by CT League of Conservation Voters

State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton), Ranking Member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, was named an Environmental Champion for the 7th time in her legislative career by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. Eligibility was determined by a legislator’s vote on a number of bills on subjects including single-use plastic bags, fracking waste, invasive species, clean energy (offshore wind), the state’s water supply, and more.

“I am grateful to be recognized once again by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, and I congratulate the 15 other members of the General Assembly who have also been named 2019 Environmental Champions,” Lavielle said. “Protecting our environment is vitally important for preserving the unique character of our beautiful state, and for public health and safety. I thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity to advocate for them on issues critical for our environment, and I will continue to make environmental sustainability one of my highest priorities. As always, I will be attentive to ensuring that initiatives in this area are undertaken within a framework of sound fiscal discipline. I congratulate the Connecticut League of Conservation Votes on its many years of service to the environment.”

Lavielle has been committed to environmental stewardship since she first took office in 2011, becoming a vocal advocate for open space preservation, mass transit, electric vehicles, industrial product stewardship, renewable energy, and locally grown food. This year, in addition to her strong advocacy for H.R. 171A Resolution Approving the State Water Plan, which affirms the status of water as a public trust, she introduced or co-sponsored bills banning fracking waste in Connecticut, making net metering more workable for residents, restricting the use of certain pesticides, and protecting endangered species and animal rights.

Before entering public service, Lavielle also gained important experience with environmental issues in the private sector, most notably as senior vice president of Suez Environnement, the world’s largest water company during her time there. Her professional experience had a lasting impact on her understanding of natural resources, as well as the high stakes of not protecting them.

Last month, the Citizens Campaign for the Environment also presented Lavielle with its 2019 Environmental Champion Award.

Haskell Recognized by CT League of Conservation Voters for Exemplary Pro-Environment Voting Record

State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) has scored a 100 on the 2019 Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) annual Environmental Scorecard, reflecting the senator’s effectiveness in leading passage of, and voting for, pro-environment legislation affecting Connecticut and its 3.5 million citizens.

“Our very best days in Hartford are the ones we spend protecting the environment and fighting climate change. Though I’m proud of my efforts to ensure the next generation will have an opportunity to enjoy open space, the Long Island Sound, and clean air, I know there’s much more work that lies ahead. This score from the CTLCV reminds us that our constituents are watching how we vote and what we’re doing to preserve Connecticut’s natural resources,” Haskell said.

The CTLCV notes in the introduction to its report that democratic majorities in the House and Senate had a major impact on passing pro-environment legislation and on killing anti-environmental bills.

“The 2019 Legislative Session delivered many wins for the environment, including significant investment in offshore wind, the electrification of the state fleet, the passage of the State Water Plan, and much more,” the report says. “Because of our work during the last elections, we broke the split in the State Senate and sent a new pro-environment majority into Hartford. These new and returning champions were largely able to kill bad environmental bills like rollbacks to the Environmental Protection Act, automatic permits from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) after 90 days, and the revocation of DEEP’s enforcement tools. Many of these anti-environment proposals never even saw a vote. As a result, the vast majority of bills we scored were pro-environment proposals. This led to higher scores overall, evidence for the strong support for the environment within our legislature.”

The CTLCV grading scale ranges from 0-to-100 percent, and is based on how legislators vote on key environmental bills during the committee period of session and on the House and Senate floor.

The final score is an average of their votes on specific pro-environment bills the CTLCV has picked. Absences and abstentions are not factored into the CTLCV’s grading system.

The legislative priorities included in CTLCV’s scorecard covers a wide, diverse range of environmental concerns. The CTLCV seeks the counsel of other environmental groups, advocates and stakeholders to determine their priorities. CTLCV’s legislative victories this session includes:

Offshore Wind legislation (PA 19-71)
Plastic Bag Ban (PA 19-117)
State Water Plan (HJR 171)
Fracking Waste Ban (PA 19-112)
Solar Net-Metering (PA 19-35)