Advocates are pouring money into supporting a state plan to borrow $4.2 billion to help protect New York’s aging infrastructure from the consequences of climate change.
The Vote Yes for Clean Water & Jobs Coalition is beginning a seven-figure advertising campaign to encourage New Yorkers to support the green-minded bond legislation that will appear on November ballots.
“New York is on the verge of a historic opportunity to protect our water and air, strengthen our water infrastructure, and improve the quality of life in every part of the state — all while supporting thousands of good-paying jobs and investing in disadvantaged communities,” said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, one of over 200 organizations collaborating to promote the proposal.
If approved by voters on November 8, the proposal would allow the state to borrow $4.2 billion for climate and environmental projects around the state.
It is the first time in more than two decades that a borrowing proposal aimed at the environment will be put to voters.
In 1996, voters authorized the borrowing of $1.75 billion for the “preservation of New York’s air, water, and bountiful natural resources.”
The current bond act, proposed at $3 billion in 2019, was stalled during the epidemic due to economic concerns.
Last year, though, Gov. Hochul and lawmakers renewed and expanded on the plan.
Supporters argue that the bill is essential for protecting clean drinking water, modernizing old infrastructure, creating jobs, improving public health and safety, and conserving New York’s natural resources.
“Contaminants are appearing in our drinking water, and New York’s infrastructure systems were not meant to handle rising waters or the frequent, powerful storms that are increasingly happening,” said Bill Ulfelder, The Nature Conservancy’s New York executive director.
“We need to prepare now for the future of an unstable climate, and the Bond Act is critical to ensure that we are ready.”
The Vote Yes for Clean Water & Jobs Coalition will launch its campaign with two television advertisements emphasizing the bond act’s capacity to help repair New York’s aging water infrastructure.