After his State of the State address disappointed environmentalists, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a few green-friendly initiatives in his budget, such as reforming and expanding New York’s brownfields program. But advocates say more money is still needed for the state’s $153 million Environmental Protection Fund and to restore state Department of Environmental Conservation staffing cuts—hot topics certain to come up at today’s environmental conservation joint legislative budget hearing.
Assemblyman Robert Sweeney recently acknowledged some positives in the budget, but wants to see more. “On the side of extremely disappointing is the lack of support for the Environmental Protection Fund, which only went up the $4 million that was agreed to last year, so it’s really nothing new or unexpected,” he said. “While I understand that perhaps the governor, since he has his own bond proposal this year, might not be favorably inclined towards my environmental bond act, it doesn’t change the fact that our environmental infrastructure in New York State is in terrible condition, not getting any better, and we have to have a plan soon.”