NY removes climate change bond from 2020 ballot

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in Washington, May 27, 2020. (AP /Jacquelyn Martin)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s economy is too “murky” to move ahead with his sweeping proposal to address climate change by borrowing $3 billion to fund environmental restoration projects across New York.

Cuomo said in a Thursday conference call with reporters that the bond won’t appear on November’s ballot, but said he hopes voters will weigh in on it the following year. He said that many events have “aggravated” the situation, and also mentioned waiting to see whether the federal government can find aid.

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the state’s sales tax revenues and tourism industry. Some environmental leaders criticized the Cuomo’s removal of the bond from November’s ballot, saying it would have helped stimulate the state’s ailing economy.

“The bond act could also have helped in ways that are not readily apparent, such as reduce local taxes by lifting the burden of new wastewater systems from the backs of local taxpayers,” said Adirondack Council Deputy Director Rocci Aguirre. “But it is discretionary spending at a time when the national economy is in disarray and national leadership is failing to correct course. Without the prospect of new federal aid to states from Congress, we understand why the governor is reluctant to move forward with new borrowing at this time.”

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