The NYS Legislature earned a B- at the end of its legislative session last month on sustainability issues from the New York League of Conservation Voters.
The environmental group published the grade in the 2014 Environmental Progress Report on July 2.
The NYLCV tracked the progress of legislation dealing with environmental issues like clean energy and transportation, climate resiliency, and sustainable economic growth and matched up that record with the NYLCV’s New York State Policy Agenda, issued in January, that the group says “lays out a course of action to make New York an environmental leader.”
The NYLCV’s top three priority bills were the Community Risk and Resiliency Act, the Brownfield Cleanup Program and the Child Safe Products Act.
The Community Risk and Resiliency Act, which passed the Legislature, aims to consider any future climate risk and any changes that may be taken in account. This includes but is not limited to sea level rise projections, preparation of local zoning laws and other weather-related data.
The act was a high priority for environmental groups.
The Brownfield Cleanup Program is aimed at the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties and was slated to expire at the end of next year. Last month, the Legislature extended it until 2017.
The Child Safety Products Act, which did not pass both houses, would have regulated and phased out toxic chemicals in children’s products.
The B- grade is broken into categories and each is given a grade as follows: C+ on Public Health issues; B on sustainable economic development; B on climate change and resiliency and B on natural resource protection.
“The Assembly and Senate deserve credit for their work on the critical issue of climate change and adaptation,” said New York League of Conservation Voters Marcia Bystryn. “But it is truly disappointing that the Legislature could not reach consensus on efforts to get toxic chemicals out of children’s toys and products. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental responsibility for our elected officials than protecting children’s health, and Albany’s inaction means our kids are still at risk.”