Organization recognizes first-term Malden Rep. as “environmental champion”
BOSTON – Environmental advocates have awarded Representative Steve Ultrino (D – Malden) a perfect score for his voting record and advocacy in support of clean energy and environmental initiatives. Only 26 members of the 160-member House of Representatives were awarded a perfect score, which accounts for not only roll call votes on legislation but also leadership on environmental issues outside of the House chamber.
“Protecting the environment is a major priority for Massachusetts. It’s about clean energy, rising sea levels, the green economy, improving public health, and preserving our community for our children and grandchildren,” said Representative Ultrino. “I’m proud to advocate for action against climate change, investments in our workforce, and the preservation of open space. And I’m proud to represent Malden, which is a leader in urban environmental efforts.”
The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund (ELM Action Fund) recognized Representative Ultrino for achieving a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard on the environment. It rates true legislative action, not merely votes. And it challenges AIM’s recent scorecard criticizing legislators on energy policy as lost in the 19th century and failing to represent the long term interests of their own members.
“When it came to votes this session, Representative Steve Ultrino supported our pro-environment agenda, but didn’t stop there. Steve demonstrated leadership on conservation. The ELM Action Fund is pleased to recognize him as an environmental champion,” said ELM Action Fund President George Bachrach. “We look forward to continued work together to protect our environment, improve public health, enhance quality of life, and grow our green economy.”
The scorecard takes into account increased funding for state parks, the Department of Environmental Protection, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity, and more, including the addition of a state climatologist to prepare the state for the effects of climate change.
Beyond votes, the ELM Action Fund awarded additional points to lawmakers who led by sponsoring important legislation or authored “Dear Colleague” letters, and deducted points from legislators who filed anti-environment legislation. The ELM Action Fund also challenges lawmakers for the practice of “voice votes” on controversial issues which are not recorded roll call votes. This practice prevents voters from truly gauging which representatives and senators are truly on their side.
“Legislative scorecards are common but this is unique, measuring leadership, not just votes,” said Bachrach. “This is our best effort to give voters a sense of who is really on their side in the critically important work that takes place out of public view.”
To view the scorecard, visit bit.ly/scores15.