Environmental Advocates of New York’s Reaction to the 2020 New York State Budget

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020

Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Despite facing such trying and uncertain circumstances, New York State leaders have delivered a budget that will make real progress for our environment. Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the Senate, and Speaker Heastie and the Assembly have again put their environmental values into practice and shown the leadership our state needs right now. Make no mistake – this budget will protect the environment and health of every New Yorker, and in doing so, put people to work.”

Clean Water Infrastructure

“Clean water has never been more important than it is today. Every dollar spent on clean water infrastructure is a win for our economy, communities, and public health. While the need for this funding is enormous, we are grateful to the Governor, the Senate, and the Assembly for devoting $500 million toward water infrastructure in this state budget. This funding will support shovel-ready projects and be an immediate environmental and economic catalyst for communities all over New York. We look forward to watching these critical water infrastructure projects become a reality across the state,” said Maureen Cunningham, senior director for clean water.

Clean Energy Siting Reform

“The renewable energy sitting reforms passed as part of the budget will finally break the backlog of wind and solar projects across the state and inject hundreds of millions into local economies. By reforming the renewable energy and transmission siting process, Governor Cuomo, the Senate, and the Assembly are making clean energy a priority despite this difficult time,“ said Conor Bambrick, director of climate policy.

Ban on Polystyrene

“Polystyrene lasts in our environment for hundreds of years. Eliminating these unnecessary plastics, where alternatives exist, will go a long way to improve the health of New Yorkers, our communities, and the environment. We are grateful our state leaders continue to prioritize policies that addresses the plastic pollution crisis and applaud them for banning polystyrene packaging and packing materials,” said Kate Kurera, deputy director.

Environmental Bond Act

“Today’s public health crisis has not erased the impacts of climate change, especially for our most vulnerable communities. Protecting our water and restoring our natural defenses against future flooding, heat, and drought is critically important if we want livable communities. We thank Governor Cuomo, the Senate, and the Assembly for putting environmental protection on the ballot this fall and look forward to working with lawmakers and New Yorkers to get it passed” said Maureen Cunningham, senior director for clean water.

Environmental Protection Fund

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers for including $300 million in this year’s budget for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The EPF has far-reaching impacts on municipalities across the state and we appreciate the hard work of state leaders who found a pathway forward in these uncertain times to keep these critical funds in place to protect our environment,” said Kate Kurera, deputy director.

E-Scooters & E-Bikes

“The Governor and Legislature should be commended for legalizing the use of e-scooters and e-bikes in this year’s budget. Doing so will provide New Yorkers with more choices to move from point A to B while cutting down on air pollution and improving public health. This is good news for breathers,” said Conor Bambrick, director of climate policy.