The following statement on Governor Hochul’s State of the State Address can be attributed to Kate Kurera, deputy director of Environmental Advocates NY:
“New York stands on the cusp of an environmental resurgence. From passing a state constitutional environmental right in 2021, to passing a $4.2 billion environmental bond act last year, New Yorkers have clearly demanded that we continue to make real progress on the environment. Now is the time for state government to demonstrate the commitment necessary for a safer climate and healthier future.
Governor Hochul’s plan for climate action is a sound one and could be world-leading if implemented fully and justly. The ‘Cap and Invest’ plan she has advanced offers a practical solution for creating a revenue stream that will reduce emissions across multiple sectors. Her approach will not only help us achieve the goals outlined in our climate law, but also provide a pathway for transitioning to a fully electrified economy that is free from fossil fuels. Of course, a successful ‘Cap and Invest’ program must meet the environmental justice and equity mandates of the climate law.
We are also pleased with the Governor’s continued commitment to clean water—with another $500 million directed for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, as well as finding and cleaning up emerging contaminants and forever chemicals in our water.
We look forward to collaborating with Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the Senate, and Speaker Heastie and the Assembly, in order to achieve significant funding and implement innovative policies that safeguard both our environment and the health of all New Yorkers.”
Since its formation in 1969, Environmental Advocates NY has been championing environmental policies that have improved health, enhanced the quality of New York’s natural resources, and saved lives.
Among the policies Environmental Advocates NY is calling on the Governor and the Legislature to accomplish include:
- Create a dedicated Climate and Community Protection Fund to facilitate the investment of at least $10 billion annually from the public and private sectors as a sustained source of funding to fully and equitably implement the Climate Scoping Plan and the mandates of the climate law.
- Invest at least $1 billion annually in the Clean Water Infrastructure Act—to include specific funds for private well testing and treatment and lead service line replacements—in order to meet New York’s at least $80 billion drinking water and wastewater infrastructure need.
- Establish packaging waste reduction and recycling legislation that holds producers accountable for the waste they produce, makes significant reductions in packaging waste, improves and supports municipal recycling programs, and reduces toxins in packaging.
To learn about Environmental Advocates NY’s full 2023 Action Agenda, please visit eany.org.
In 2021, voters in New York approved an amendment to the State Constitution that added “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.” (2,129,051, 70% YES—907,159, 30% NO)
Last year, the Environmental Bond Act was approved and was the top vote getter in the statewide ballot. (3,522,141, 67% YES—1,686,300, 33% NO)
Between the two, environmental measures have garnered over 5.6 million votes in support over the past two years.