Spring 2014

Legislating for the Future: NBCSL Members Promoting Innovative Energy, Transportation, and Environment Policies

Energy, transportation, and environment policies affect our everyday lives, and legislation to promote renewable energy, safer transportation, and a sustainable local environment is being considered in statehouses across the nation. While these policies are vital to the current state of our communities, they also have lasting effects for years to come. Here, we recognize those NBCSL members who see the importance and timeliness of these policies. They have brought several issues to the forefront, successfully passing legislation to improve our overall health and ensure a viable future for the coming generations.   

Assemblymember Mila Jasey (NJ)
Assemblymember Mila Jasey was first elected to the New Jersey Legislature in 2007 and is now in her third term in office. She serves as Vice Chair of the Housing and Community Development committee and sits on the Education and Higher Education committees. Before taking office, Assemblymember Jasey was a member of the South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education. While on the board, she served as president for two years. In early 2012, Assemblymember Jasey authored legislation to prohibit the new construction of buildings on tainted soil. The act specifically required contracts, building plans, and bid proposal documents to include budget line items and specific instructions to test and remove (if needed) contaminated soil before building construction started. This legislation passed the House and the Senate and is now state law.

13-Shawn-Michael Malone
Senator Shawn-Michael Malone (USVI)
Senator Shawn-Michael Malone of the U.S. Virgin Islands was first elected in 2002. He is currently the Senate President of the 30th Legislature. He is Vice-Chair to the Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, Youth, and Recreation. He also sits on the Committee of Rules and Judiciary and the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture, and Planning. In 2013, Senator Malone proposed a bill to amend existing code authorizing solar thermal energy systems.  The amendment, which passed and was enacted, permitted the development of utility-scale generation solar facilities in all zoning districts. This allows for broader installation and use of photovoltaic and solar thermal energy systems, and helps toward meeting USVI’s goal to reduce fossil fuel usage by 60% by 2025.

13-Senator Kent Williams
Senator Kent Williams (SC)
Senator Kent Williams has served South Carolina since 2005. He is active on several legislative committees, including Agriculture and Natural Resources; Finance; Fish, Game, and Forestry; and Commerce and Industry. Senator Williams was also appointed by Governor Carroll Campbell to the South Carolina State Agricultural Commission (created in 1978 primarily to oversee the administration of the South Carolina Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act). With membership on the committee for Fish, Game, and Forestry, it is no surprise that in 2011 Williams authored a bill to prohibit individuals or corporations from displaying “wild caught” or “captive-bred” dolphins and whales. Criminal penalties for this display were introduced through this legislation as well. The bill was successfully passed by both chambers and signed by the governor in May of 2011.

13-Senator Earline Rogers
Senator Earline Rogers (IN)
Senator Earline Rogers was first elected to the Indiana State Senate in 1990. Prior to serving in the Senate, she served in the Indiana House of Representatives for eight years. Senator Rogers is a ranking Democrat of the Senate Education and Career Development committee and the Appropriations committee. Further, she sits on the Senate Homeland Security, Transportation, and Veterans’ Affairs committees. Dedicated to transportation and child safety, Senator Rogers authored SB 421 to “require school bus drivers to instruct passengers once a semester on proper seatbelt fastening in buses already equipped with seatbelts and to conduct evacuation drills at least once a semester.” The bill also required the Indiana School Bus committee to meet regularly to discuss bus driver conduct. Senator Rogers’ bill was signed by the governor in May 2013.

13-Representatvie Rosa Gill
Representative Rosa Gills (NC)
Representative Rosa Gills has been a member of the North Carolina Legislature since 2009. She is Vice Chair of the State Personnel committee and a member of the Appropriations, Education, Government, and Public Utilities and Energy committees. In March of 2013, Representative Gill introduced legislation to create a permitting program for wind energy facilities. Included in the permitting program are an initial site visit of proposed locations and a site evaluation meeting prior to the dissemination of permits. The bill was enacted on May 17, 2013.

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