Nashville Democratic state Reps. Brenda Gilmore, Gary Moore and Mike Turner were ranked highly on environmental issues in a scorecard released today by a statewide conservation group.
The Tennessee Conservation Voters’ fifth annual scorecard ranked legislators with trees for votes for bill sponsorships the group felt protected the environment and tree stumps for votes they believed did not.
The group acknowledges that its scoring system is “apples to oranges” since not all legislators have the ability to vote an equal amount of times on environmental bills as a result of the committee system.
Turner received three trees and Gilmore and Moore each garnered two and a half trees.
“Isn’t that exciting you’ve got actual people from inner-city Nashville area that recognize the importance of conservation for the whole state,” said Chris Ford, the executive director of Tennessee Conservation Voters.
Turner was praised for sponsoring five bills the group felt protected the environment, but only one of those bills became law. Another measure was an encouraging resolution for the Tennessee Valley Authority to invest in efficient and renewable power that did pass.
In the House, Rep. Mike McDonald (D-Portland) received the most trees with four.
In the other chamber of the legislature, Senators Rosalind Kurita (D-Clarksville) and Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) tied for the highest ranking with five and a half trees each.
Of Nashville-based members, Sen. Joe Haynes (D-Goodlettsville) was ranked the highest in the upper-chamber, garnering three trees.
The only legislator to receive a stump was Rep. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains). Niceley got one stump for “negative actions” on a water drainage bill and voting against a bill increasing various fees charged by the Department of Environment and Conservation.