Wisconsin Conservation Voters releases its 2023-24 Conservation Scorecard

Jun 18, 2024

MADISON – Wisconsin Conservation Voters released its Conservation Scorecard for the 2023-24 legislative session today.

The Conservation Scorecard assesses how Gov. Evers and state legislators voted on conservation issues like clean water, clean energy, and democracy. Each representative receives a score for the session and a lifetime score – providing a roadmap for voters to use in the upcoming elections.

Government Affairs Manager Peter Burress had this to say about the launch and session:

“During the 2023-24 session, the GOP-dominated legislature failed conservation voters. Republicans obstructed progress, not just on priority conservation issues, but on basic governance. In one instance, they tried to use a statewide crisis – toxic PFAS in our drinking water – as a tool to create an accountability loophole for corporate polluters.

A majority of Republicans also refused to approve most of Gov. Evers’ highly qualified appointees to critical boards and committees, including the Natural Resources Board (NRB). And, despite approving $125 million for PFAS remediation – money that should help kids stay healthy – they are refusing to put those funds to use.

Gov. Evers did his job. He used his veto power seven times to stop bills that worked against conservation priorities. Along with vetoing expanded protections for polluters, he nixed a redistricting bill designed to give the final word on voting maps to the GOP majority. That veto ultimately led to the fair voting maps we now have. Meanwhile, conservation champions stood ready to stop a near GOP supermajority from overriding his vetoes.

In spite of the gerrymandered legislature, there were victories. In partnership with conservation groups across the state, Gov. Evers secured the approval of Pelican River Forest – the largest conservation project in Wisconsin history. And through the state budget, the legislature secured $125 million for PFAS clean up, remediation for lead in homes, state park capital improvements, funding the Tribal Elder Community Food Box Program, and more.

The 2023-24 session was the final legislative session under the worst partisan gerrymander in the nation. When Gov. Evers signed legislation for new maps, he paved the way for future sessions to better reflect Wisconsinites’ values.

We’re proud to release this session’s scorecard to help inform voters based on what their legislators actually did, not what they said. This is a great tool to have in hand when considering who to vote for in the next several elections starting with the Aug. 13 primary.”

Thank you to the 45 legislators who earned a perfect 100 percent. The scorecard also includes the popular Conservation Honor Roll and Conservation Dishonor Roll.

The Conservation Honor Roll recognizes the following decision-makers for the extra effort they put forth to protect our air, water, land, and democracy. This year’s honor roll is: Gov. Tony Evers, Rep. Darrin Madison, Sen. Jeff Smith, Rep. Deb Andraca, Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Sen. Kelda Roys, Rep. Evan Goyke, and Rep. Tip McGuire.

The Conservation Dishonor Roll spotlights lawmakers who go to extraordinary lengths to jeopardize Wisconsin's natural resources and democracy. The following legislators’ actions were so egregious and out of touch with their constituents' values they belong on the Conservation Dishonor Roll: Sen. Eric Wimberger and Sen. Rob Stafsholt.

View the media release 2023-2024 Conservation Scorecard online or download a PDF here. If sharing the scorecard in a story, please use this link.

For more information

CONTACT: Peter Burress, Government Manager, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, 920-421-3601 (mobile/text), or peter@conservationvoters.org