Larchmont, NY —In a Wednesday address in which she presented her executive budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024, New York governor Kathy Hochul spoke of the need to meet a challenge “that affects everyone that lives on this earth – and that’s climate change.” Save the Sound endorses the Governor’s proposed cap-and-invest policy to reduce emissions, prioritize health, and offset the high cost of utilities, and also the environmental investments she announced, including $500 million for clean water infrastructure, $500 million for offshore wind development, and $400 million for the Environmental Protection Fund. All of this funding would be on top of the $4.2 billion available through the Environmental Bond Act, passed in November with the support of 60 percent of New York voters.
David Ansel, regional director of water protection: “The $500 million in additional clean water infrastructure funding proposed by Governor Hochul demonstrates a continued commitment to supporting communities in their efforts to preserve access to clean water. Such investment is critical to the Long Island Sound region, where so much work remains to enhance our resiliency to the mounting challenges of a changing climate and upgrade our capacity to reduce pollution through more effective wastewater treatment and stormwater management infrastructure.”
Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney: “We’ve already seen the efficacy of cap-and-invest programs with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which has been reducing emissions in New York, Connecticut, and across the northeast for over a decade. Proceeds can be reinvested in communities through energy efficiency improvements, clean energy programs, utility assistance to communities and local businesses, and rebates. This provides a flexible mechanism that cuts climate pollution on multiple levels and benefits residents economically.”
Alex Rodriguez, environmental justice specialist: “Governor Hochul’s proposed budget would provide funding to electrify more than one million New York homes by 2030 and would ensure greener, healthier homes for residents. This is crucial to strengthening community resilience. We applaud the governor’s climate justice focus, and we encourage her and the legislature to finalize a budget that eliminates subsidies for gas hookups in homes and requires all new buildings be constructed without fossil fuel combustion systems or appliances.”