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    Suncoast lawmakers in top ranks of nature-friendly

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 1, 2002

    Several Tampa Bay lawmakers got high marks from environmentalists in the annual Florida League of Conservation Voters scorecard released Thursday.

    The rankings are based on environmental votes lawmakers cast last year, during the 2001 legislative session.

    In the 120-member House of Representatives, Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, ranked second, and Sara Romeo, D-Lutz, ranked third. Frank Peterman Jr., D-St. Petersburg, ranked sixth.In the 40-member Senate, Republican Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville ranked fifth. Environmentalists praised her for fighting a proposal to pump polluted water into the aquifer.

    Environmentalists also praised Republican Rep. Larry Crow of Palm Harbor for sponsoring legislation to keep arsenic-treated lumber out of playgrounds. The legislation died. Crow was ranked 42nd in the House.

    The top-ranked legislators were Rep. Mark Weissman, D-Parkland, and Sen. Tom Rossin, D-Royal Palm Beach.

    Dead last: Rep. Michael Bennett, R-Bradenton, and incoming Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville.

    Here's how other area lawmakers ranked, in descending order:

    In the House:

    Bob Henriquez, D-Tampa, 15th; Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, 22nd; Heather Fiorentino, R-New Port Richey, 44th; Nancy Argenziano, R-Dunnellon, 45th; Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, 54th; John Carassas, R-Belleair, 56th; Leslie Waters, R-Seminole, 57th; David Russell Jr., R-Brooksville, 59th; Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, 60th; Kim Berfield, R-Clearwater, 67th; Ken Littlefield, R-Dade City, 69th; Sandy Murman, R-Tampa, 77th; Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, 81st; Rob Wallace, R-Tampa, 91st; Chris Hart, R-Tampa, 100th; Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City, 107th; JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, 116th.

    In the Senate:

    Les Miller, D-Tampa, 10th; Richard Mitchell, D-Jasper, 13th; Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, 16th; Victor Crist, R-Tampa, 18th; Anna Cowin, R-Leesburg, 20th; Tom Lee, R-Brandon, 21st; Don Sullivan, R-Seminole, 24th; Jim Sebesta, R-St. Petersburg, 25th.

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