Environmental bills being looked at in the NYS legislature

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State lawmakers are discussing environmental legislation before the legislative session ends in June. 

One measure that remains is the Climate Change and Community Investment Act, which could raise about $15 billion in revenues per year. It would expand on the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to reduce greenhouse gases. Though there was a hearing earlier in the month on the CCIA, it currently sits in committee.

“I can only say ‘stay tuned.’ I know that it’s important to rid the planet of pollution and there are a variety of ways that we want to do it and certainly CCIA is something to be considered,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins said earlier this week.

The purpose of the bill aims to “transition New York to 100 percent renewable energy,” “create hundreds of thousands of jobs” and protect and support workers and communities “most impacted by climate change and pollution.” To do that it would put in place a carbon tax on corporations. 

Senator Pam Helming opposes the legislation. Her office says it could result in an “an additional 55 cents per gallon gas tax as well as increased taxes on heating oil and natural gas.”

Meanwhile, included in the recently passed state budget was a proposal to put the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act up to voters in 2022. During a United University Professions Earth Day roundtable, Assemblyman Steve Englebright said he sees that as an education opportunity. 

“SUNY is going to play an important role in validating, I believe, the importance of asking the voters to invest into the operational side and the capital side of addressing our climate crisis,” he said.

Some other measures proposed include expanding electric vehicle charging stations, wetlands protection, and land conservation.

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