HARTFORD – State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) has been named an Environmental Champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV). Of the 16 legislators to receive the recognition this year, she was commended for her leadership on resisting efforts to repeal the bottle deposit program during the 2017 legislative session.
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is a bipartisan, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s environment by making it a priority for elected officials. CTLCV works with the state’s environmental advocacy groups to identify, highlight, and track important bills that affect Connecticut’s natural resources, including air, water, wildlife, open space, and health. Following each legislative session, it recognizes a number of lawmakers for their leadership on environmental issues by naming them Environmental Champions.
“The multiple failed attempts by the majority party to pass a sensible state budget received most of the attention in Hartford over the course of this year and environmental issues unfortunately didn’t receive the appropriate attention, which makes me especially grateful for this distinction by the League of Conservation Voters,” said Rep. Kupchick. “I was focused on working to pass a common sense budget, but environmental stewardship is always essential not only for preserving Connecticut’s unique natural beauty and landscape, but also for its quality of life and economic viability. There is no reason pursuing fiscally responsible policies should jeopardize all of our progress on conserving natural resources. In fact, environmental stewardship can be included as part of the solution in turning our state’s economy around helping to attract families and businesses to Connecticut. I’m thankful for the League of Conservation voters for their advocacy for our environment and for honoring me with the distinction of Environmental Champion.”
During the 2017 legislative session, Rep. Kupchick helped defeat an effort to dismantle the state’s landmark recycling law, succeeding in retaining Connecticut’s bottle deposit refund program. In addition to her efforts in these areas, Rep. Kupchick was a vocal supporter and co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment resolution protecting state conservation lands. She also supported legislation designed to improve the DOT’s management of tree removal on state highways, as well as successful efforts to promote clean air initiatives on Long Island Sound.
Rep. Kupchick said, “Instead of ending the bottle deposit program completely, the program simply needed to be updated to include more types of bottles and we should adjust the fees to keep the program viable and cost-efficient. Conserving our natural resources and controlling state spending do not need to be competing issues and I will continue my work in the legislature on behalf of both causes.”
“Brenda Kupchick was extremely proactive on the ‘bottle bill’ legislation and actively worked with members in the House to get their commitment to support improvements the program,” said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. “Not all legislators can or want to jump into that role, especially when an issue is contentious, but Rep. Kupchick really stepped up and pushed for legislation that clearly helps the environment and creates jobs. We are grateful to have another strong environmental leader in the legislature and look forward to working with her in 2018.”
The complete 2017 CTLCV scorecard can be viewed at: http://www.ctlcv.org/uploads/6/2/0/1/6201942/2017_scorecard_web_pdf.pdf