Minnesota State Legislative Scorecard - 2017 and 2018 Sessions

October 10, 2018
Minnesota Capitol Rotunda Inside Dome-evilfoo

Clean Water Action’s goal is to protect and restore our lakes, rivers and streams now and for future generations. We work to protect Minnesota’s health and water by making systemic change. We educate the public, develop grassroots  leaders and mobilize our members to get involved in policy decisions.

We also provide tools to help Minnesotans understand how their elected officials are voting. This scorecard covers the 2017 and 2018 Minnesota legislative sessions and scores every Minnesota state legislator on votes that impact clean, renewable energy, water quality, and toxics in our environment.

How Legislators Were Scored

The votes included in this scorecard took place during 2017 & 2018. We only scored recorded votes in which each member of the Senate or House had the opportunity to participate. Both House and Senate legislators were scored on 4 votes in 2017 and 3 votes in 2018. Each vote was weighted equally, and missed votes were excluded. A pro-environment vote is indicated by the color green, an anti-environment vote by red. Any missed votes are indicated by a “ – ”.

What the Scorecard Shows

The 2017-2018 scorecard shows disappointingly low scores on the whole. While some legislators earned favorable scores, the reality is that both bodies of the Legislature and both parties continue to support legislation that put our water and environment at risk.

On average the Senate earned a failing score of 45%, with the House of Representatives earning an average score of 39%.

Review of caucus averages shows that Senate Democrats (89%) on average scored higher than Senate Republicans (0%) while House Democrats (90%) outperformed the House Republicans (1%) on environmental and public health issues.

On an individual basis, 24 members of the Senate and 38 members of the House of Representatives earned perfect scores, while 31 members of the Senate and 73 members of the House of Representatives earned zeros.

Most of the Leadership in the legislature, who should be leading by better example, scored very low, including Senate Minority Leader, Thomas Bakk (03, DFL) who earned a 29%. Both the Speaker of the House, Kurt Daudt (31A, R) and Majority Leader, Joyce Peppin earned zeros.

Clean Water Action State Director, Deanna White, explains that, “A lot of elected officials talk about their love for Minnesota’s water and our environment — but the proof is in their voting record. The sad truth is that many of our legislators are failing to protect our environment and our health. Minnesotans want them to do better.”

During the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions our Legislature put the priorities of special interests first and ignored opportunities to act on legislation to advance clean energy, safeguard our water resources, and protect children and families from exposure to toxic chemicals.

Environmental issues haven’t always received the most attention at the capitol, especially when it comes to protective policies. Sadly, during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions there wasn’t much change. More often than not, environmental legislation becomes part of the give and take during final negotiations. Proactive policies never cross the finish line and compromises made behind closed doors often have negative consequences.

It’s time our elected officials take initiative, work together, and prioritize vital legislation that sustains the health of our environment and communities.

To find out who your legislators are, visit https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts

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