NYS Budget Supports the Environment

During very challenging times our Legislature and Governor Cuomo have agreed on a State budget that prioritizes our environment and commits record funding to natural resource conservation and climate change.

Of course, the actual spending of these investments will ultimately depend on how well and how quickly our state recovers from these most challenging times. Whether the budget is written in pencil or in ink, this is still good news!

Restore Mother Nature Bond Act
The state budget includes the authorization to place a $3 billion Bond Act on the November 2020 ballot to fund projects and programs that will prevent flooding in communities, protect clean water, conserve natural areas and wildlife habitat and reduce carbon pollution, the driver of climate change.

Environmental Protection Fund
The Environmental Protection Fund is the lifeblood of the conservation movement in New York, providing dollars to all things environmental. We’re happy to report the budget includes $300 million with no raids on funds to pay state employees.

Water Infrastructure Improvement Act
This year, this fund was increased to $3.5 billion, continuing to provide important resources to local governments as they deliver clean and healthy water.

Renewable Energy Siting Plan
By law, 70% of New York’s electricity must come from renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2040 – the fastest timeline to decarbonize in the nation. This plan would create a fast-track permitting process for large wind and solar.

Also included in the legislative package was a ban on fracking, Styrofoam cartons and the legalization of electric scooters and bikes.

Many thanks to Senator James Gaughran, and Assembly Members Steven Englebright (Chair, Committee on Environmental Conservation), Anthony D’Urso, Charles Lavine and Michael Montesano for their work.