Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions

NYS Budget: An Opportunity to Enhance the EPF

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The Budget negotiations are wrapping up in Albany and as it comes down to the wire it is always a question of what will be traded for what.

CCE and its allies have been working to grow the Environmental Protection Fund for the first time in 5 years.  Unfortunately, during the recession the EPF started on a free fall.  And now as the economy has stabilized it is time to reinvest in the EPF.  Did you know:

  • For every $1 of EPF funds invested in land conservation, $7 in goods and services is returned to NYS.
  • The EPF protects lands for outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation supports 130,000 jobs and brings in $800 million in tax revenue in NYS.
  • New York’s recycling industry provides 32,000 jobs in 4,000 recycling related businesses. This accounts for an annual payroll of nearly $1.4 billion.
  • The EPF protects parks, beaches and other open space on Long Island. The direct economic benefit of preserving open space is $2.74 billion per year on Long Island.
  • The EPF supports programs that protect and restore the Great Lakes. The Great
  •  Lakes support a $5.1 billion recreational boating industry and nearly 29,000 jobs in NY.

It’s easy to see why CCE has supported the EPF since its inception.  It is a sound investment in New York’s environment and sustainable future. From Montauk to Buffalo, the EPF touches every New Yorkers life.  The EPF supports industries from recycling to farms to zoos.

Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature have an historic opportunity to enhance the EPF.   As part of the budget negotiations currently underway in Albany, the Governor, Senate and Assembly have all made proposals to grow the EPF.  The problem is that all three proposals vary slightly as to how the additional support would be directed to the EPF.  The good news is that the Governor, Senate and Assembly all support growing the EPF by at least $19 million in the next budget, bringing total funding for the program to $153 million or more. Now state leaders need to agree on a finalized plan to make it happen.

The EPF is a critical part of protecting New York and it needs your help today, please call Senate & Assembly leaders and Governor Cuomo to express your support. The phone numbers are posted below:

1) Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: 518-455-3791
2) Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
3) Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos: 518-455-3171
4) Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein: 518-455-3595

 

 

 

 

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