Four mid-Hudson Dems get top scores on environmental report card

Sen. Jen Metzger and Assembly members Kevin Cahill, Aileen Gunther and Jonathan Jacobson all had perfect scores on Environmental Advocates’ report card on how New York’s legislators voted on 35 bills the group supported in the 2019 session.

The report card graded all 63 senators and 150 Assembly members on their votes, with legislation ranked by the significance of the environmental benefits it would provide. One of the most important bills was the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in July and which requires the state to cease all fossil-fuel power production and use only renewable energy sources by 2040. That legislation also seeks to have New York producing net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We are blessed with a wealth of natural and scenic resources in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, and I take very seriously my responsibility as a state legislator to protect them,” Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat whose district includes Sullivan County and part of Ulster, said in a statement about the report card. “Our health and well-being, and the economy of the region, depend on good environmental stewardship.”

Cahill, a Kingston Democrat, also touted his 100 percent score in a press release. He had criticized the scoring method used in a previous environmental report card for the 2019 session by the New York League of Conservation Voters, which had given him a 78 based on 16 bills it tracked.

“New York has long been at the forefront of environmental stewardship, pioneering regulations to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and enhance our communities,” Cahill said in his statement.  “I am proud of the successes we have had in the Assembly.  Now, we must build on our record and prevent any degradation of our natural resources.”

Sen. George Amedore, a Rotterdam Republican whose district includes part of Ulster County, got a 49 on Environmental Advocates’ report card and was rewarded with the group’s “Oil Slick Award” for that and his low scores for previous legislative sessions.

Here are how all 10 lawmakers representing parts of Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties fared on the report card:

Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale: 100

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston: 100

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-Forestburgh: 100

Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, D-City of Newburgh: 100

Sen. James Skoufis, D-Cornwall: 97

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, R-New Windsor: 88

Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford: 72

Sen. James Seward, R-Milford: 62

Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, R-Deerpark: 58

Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam: 49

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