State Budgeting

About Our Budget Work: With declining fiscal conditions and a looming economic recession, state budget matters and the money dedicated to the agencies responsible for implementing environmental law have taken on new and critical importance. Environmental Advocates of New York’s Fiscal Policy Program looks for innovative ways to ensure the state’s primary environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, has the resources it needs to effectively implement existing law and protect the health of our air, land and water.

The State Budget is the single greatest responsibility that the Governor and state lawmakers have, as their negotiations set forth New York’s priorities and values for at least the next 12 months. This year’s budget came at a unique time as President Trump began the widespread dismantling of many of the health and environmental protections New Yorkers depend on, including attacks on air and water quality. Proposed federal budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could further endanger New Yorkers, as fewer resources means fewer environmental “cops on the beat”. This is a problem we already have here in New York due to years of flat budgets proposed by the Governor which have reduced the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) ability to carry out its growing responsibilities.

Governor Cuomo’s 2016-2017 Executive Budget Proposal includes some positive policy proposals that would help to protect our environment and public health here in New York State.

However, there are aspects of the Governor’s proposal that would take New York in the wrong direction by making it harder for New York to achieve its climate and clean energy goals, and ensure sustained progress towards a healthier New York.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his Executive Budget proposal for SFY2016-17.

Recently, Governor Cuomo committed to reducing carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050, and generating half of our energy from clean renewables by 2030 – strong goals we’ve been fighting for. It’s a game-changer. But it can also be difficult to understand. So when we say 80x50, what does it all mean?

The state budget is the most significant responsibility that the governor and state legislators have to fulfill each year. And this year we are working with our partners to get several good measures over the finish line, doing what we do best, stopping bad ideas – like fracking – from gaining ground. Already this month, thousands of you have used our new Action Center to call, email, tweet and Facebook your elected officials to make your voice heard. Your actions are making a difference. THANK YOU.

The cleanup of New York’s thousands of toxic, dangerous and dirty brownfields is crucial – unfortunately, the state’s current Brownfield Cleanup Program is broken.
 
As Environmental Advocates’ new report Ripe for Reform documents, the current program (while well-intended) has skidded off the rails. So far, it has cost taxpayers $1.4 billion to clean up just 170 sites. In other words, the average cost of a brownfield cleanup in New York State is $8.2 million dollars. That’s absurd.

Environmental Advocates is counting on legislators to support, improve, and block three key proposals in the Governor’s budget proposal.

Brownfields: every community has them, and there are tens of thousands statewide.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected the vast majority of clean water funds which Governor Andrew Cuomo sought to divert to construction costs associated with the New New York Bridge.

"I urge you to reject authorizing the authority to borrow Clean Water State Revolving Fund dollars to help construct the New New York Bridge."

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