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Environmental group grades state lawmakers on voting records

ALBANY – A leading environmental group has scored members of the State Legislature for their voting records during the 2017 session and Western New York lawmakers received a broad range of ratings.

EPL/Environmental Advocates gave perfect scores for the votes taken during the six-month session by four Democrats from Western New York: Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Assembly members Sean Ryan, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Michael Kearns.

Four Republican senators from Western New York didn't fair as well. Their scores included 68 for Sen. Chris Jacobs, 53 for Sen. Rob Ortt, 77 for Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer and 68 for Sen. Patrick Gallivan.

Kennedy was recognized among seven lawmakers in the two houses for having a “sustained commitment” to environmental advocacy, saying he has been a “reliable champion for environmental protection and health.’’

The scores, released Wednesday, were based on voting on a number of issues, including wetlands protections, clean water funding, renewable energy efforts and a proposed change in the constitution that would state “each person shall have a right to clean air and water and a healthful environment.’’

In general, Democrats scored higher than Republicans. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, for instance, received a 100 while Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican, got a 71.

Other scores for area Democrats in the Assembly include 77 for Robin Schimminger and 95 for Monica Wallace. Area Assembly Republican scores included 85 for Ray Walter, 72 for Angelo Morinello, 67 for Michael Norris and 43 for David DiPietro, the second lowest mark in the Legislature.

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