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Business, environmental groups rate local lawmakers

June 29, 2011

A business advocacy group and an environmental organization have released their annual scorecards for Maryland’s state delegates and senators.

Maryland Business for Responsive Government, a nonpartisan nonprofit group, based its ratings on 14 Senate votes and 16 House votes, such as increasing the sales tax on alcohol from 6 percent to 9 percent and letting workers decide whether to join a union.

Five Washington County delegation members received a perfect 100 percent score for their votes on the MBRG’s issues, including Sens. Christopher B. Shank and George C. Edwards and Dels. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., Andrew A. Serafini and Neil C. Parrott. All are Republicans.

Del. Michael J. Hough, R-Frederick/Washington, was just behind them at 91 percent.

The delegation’s two Democrats scored much lower, indicating that they usually didn’t vote how the MBRG would have liked.

Sen. Ronald N. Young was at 44 percent, and Del. John P. Donoghue was at 25 percent.

Meanwhile, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, another nonpartisan nonprofit group, based its ratings on issues such as placing limits on lawn fertilizer and requiring recycling in apartment buildings.

Both of the groups used a bill in their scorecards calling for the state to wait about two more years to approve permits for hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation. The MBRG opposed the bill and the MLCV supported it.

Shank had the lowest 2011 MCLV score — 0, meaning he voted opposite of the group’s preference on every issue.

Edwards’ score was 50 percent, and Young’s was 71 percent.

Among Washington County’s delegates, the highest score was Parrott’s 50 percent.

Donoghue had 40 percent, Hough and Myers had 25 percent, and Serafini had 20 percent.

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— Andrew Schotz

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