2015 Minnesota Legislative Scorecard

2015 Minnesota Legislative Scorecard

Clean Water Action is fighting to protect Minnesota’s communities, health, and water through systemic change. Through education, developing grassroots leaders, and mobilizing our members to get involved in policy decisions we're keeping the pressure on lawmakers to stand with people, not polluters.

Our scorecard for the 2015 Minnesota legislative session and special session scores every Minnesota state legislator on their votes for or against renewable energy, water quality, and toxics in our environment.

Find out how your legislator scored here. Find out who your legislators are here.

These scores are an important tool for constituents to understand where their legislators stand when it comes to protecting the environment. Minnesotans value environmental protections and want to know whether their elected representatives are voting to protect our water and health or not.

Despite notable scores earned by environmental champions, the legislature failed our communities in 2015. The Senate earned a failing grade of 52.1%. The House of Representatives was even further behind with an average score of 49.8%.

"When control of the legislature is split between the two major political parties, expectations are lowered and results are harder to come by. That was certainly the case this past session”, says Clean Water Action Board Member, Vic Moore.

For the most part, scores kept to party lines. Senate Democrats (74.5%) scored higher than Senate Republicans (19.5%) while House Democrats (92.6%) significantly outperformed the House Republicans (14.5%) on environmental and public health issues. On an individual basis, 14 members of the Senate and 49 members of the House of Representatives earned perfect scores. Still, some legislators scored shockingly low: 63 House Republicans scored below 15%. Both the Speaker of the House, Kurt Daudt (31A, R) and Majority Leader, Joyce Peppin scored an 0%.

View the entire 2015 scorecard and details on individual legislators.

Overall the report found:

  • The scores earned by the legislature are reflective that the 2015 legislative session was full of missed opportunities to address critical environmental and public health issues.
  • The legislature failed to support practical solutions on critical issues such as children’s health, microbead pollution, and clean energy policy advancement.
  • On most legislative initiatives, the anti-environment position won, with select Democrats aligning with Republicans to pass bad bills – most notably – SF 5, Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources bill and HF 843, Omnibus Employment, Economic Development and Energy bill.
  • Over half (57.2%) of the Minnesota legislature received a failing environmental score for the 2015 legislative session.
  • 53.7% of the Democratic controlled Senate received a failing grade and 58.9% of the Republican controlled House received a failing grade, leading to environmental and public health setbacks.
  • Only 31% of the state legislature received a perfect score while just under half (43%) of the state legislature received a score below 20%.

On an individual legislator basis, the report highlights:

  • 65 members of the House of Representatives scored below 20%.
  • 21 members of the Senate scored below 20%

Currently, our legislature is failing to get the job done. Fortunately it’s not too late to change the course we’re currently on. When the legislative session convenes in 2016 it is imperative that constituents call for action from our elected officials and demand that lawmakers stand with people, not polluters.

As election season approaches, we need to work to elect pro-environment candidates who will stand up, take initiative, and put the legislature’s best foot forward when it comes to passing environmental policies that will benefit Minnesota for generations to come.

During the 2015 legislative session, the Minnesota legislature flagrantly put the needs of special interests over protecting Minnesota’s natural resources and public health, it is imperative that this changes.

A few things the Legislature can do in 2016 to get us back on track:

  • Reinstate the MPCA’s Citizen’s Board
  • Ensure protection of Minnesota’s wetlands
  • Advance clean energy policies by:

- Increasing the Renewable Energy Standard to 40% by 2030

- Increase the efficiency goal for utilities from 1.5 to 2%

- Enact tax credit for rural renewable energy investments

  • Act favorably on stalled legislation, including:
  • The Synthetic Microbead Ban
  • The Toxic Free Kids Act
  • Advanced Biofuels

Support Our Work to Hold the Legislature Accountable

Want to help Clean Water Action continue to fight for clean, safe water and sustainable communities? Want to help defend our natural resources and public health in the fight against the anti-environmental agenda? Join us by making your contribution today!

Interested in further involvement with the organization? Contact jgrove@cleanwater.org for volunteer opportunities!