Legislators’ grades are calculated using ratings developed by EPL/Environmental Advocates’ sister organization, Environmental Advocates of New York. Legislators earn between 1 and 3 points respectively for votes in support of bills rated by Environmental Advocates of New York as 1, 2, or 3 “tree” bills. Tree-rated bills are those that will benefit the environment. Legislators earn between 1 and 3 points respectively for votes against bills that are given a rating of 1, 2, or 3 “smokestacks.” Smokestack-rated bills are those that will harm the environment.
Legislators’ scores are heavily influenced by their support for the Super Bills, the most pressing environmental priorities for the New York State Legislature. Legislators earn points for supporting Super Bills as follows:
Co-sponsoring: Lawmakers receive half-credit (1.5 points of a 3-tree bill) for Super Bills they sponsor or co-sponsor. However, if a Super Bill is voted on, the vote is counted in the score, and credit is not given for co-sponsorship. Members of the minority party who request to be added as co-sponsors also receive co-sponsorship credit.
Becoming law: If a Super Bill is passed by both houses and signed into law, all legislators who vote for it receive 3 points plus 2 bonus points.
Legislators who miss more than 20 percent of votes receive a score of incomplete (INC).