November 1, 2022
By: Jonathan Gordon | News 12
While the candidates for governor and Congress are dominating next week’s midterm election there are several propositions where voters will have a major say in policies.
Voters will choose whether to approve or strike down the Environmental Bond Act that will allow the state comptroller to issue $4.2 billion worth of bonds to fund statewide environmental projects.
A total of $1.5 billion will go towards climate change, $1 billion for flood risk reduction, plus hundreds of millions of dollars for land conservation and water quality improvement.
What does this mean for the Hudson Valley?
Protections for the Hudson River, transitioning to more electric vehicles and improvements to historically underserved communities.
One Yonkers resident says he plans to vote for the proposition because he is still cleaning up more than a year after Hurricane Ida.
“Any positive thing in the neighborhood is going to work so if it’s going to help, it’s going to help,” says Lloyd Cheatwood, of Yonkers.
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo originally introduced a version of this act in 2020 for $3 billion. The state Legislature approved the measure but it was pulled from the ballot because of the economic uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic.
Cuomo then reintroduced the measure the following year, but Gov. Kathy Hochul modified it after Cuomo resigned. She added $1 billion in funding which also passed the Legislature in the spring.
Here’s the breakdown:
- $1.5 billion in climate change mitigation (which includes funds for zero-emission school buses)
- $1.1 billion in restoration and flood risk reduction.
- $650 million in open space land conservation and recreation.
- $650 million in water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure.
- $300 million in unallocated funds.
The measure also dictates that 35% of the total funds must be spent in disadvantaged communities.