The top Democrats overseeing environmental conservation policy in the state Legislature on Tuesday called for the passage of the Environmental Bond Act, a $3 billion proposal that was shelved last year.
The push from Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Sen. Todd Kaminsky comes as lawmakers this week are facing crunch time on the state budget, due to pass Wednesday.
The bond act, if given final approval by voters, would spend billions of dollars on environmental infrastructure in the state. The measure has the backing of a range of environmental organizations and labor unions.
“The Bond Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to spur a more green and resilient future for New York," Kaminsky said. "From water quality and storm resiliency projects to green construction that will fight climate change, the Bond Act can create 65,000 good-paying jobs that will help re-energize our economy. This investment is pivotal to propelling our region’s recovery from the COVID crisis, while solving the serious environmental threats that confront our state."
But lawmakers are taking differing approaches to the proposal. The state Senate included the provision in its budget resolution; Englebright has introduced the bill as a standalone measure.
“A clean healthy environment is essential for people to thrive. Protecting our environment improves our quality of life," Englebright said. "The Environmental Bond will help ensure and safeguard New Yorkers access to clean air, clean water, open space and a healthful environment. These funds will create jobs, reduce pollution and attract tourism and business to New York, while also addressing climate change."