Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions

New York’s 2013 Legislative Session

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A quick wrap-up of what happened in New York this year during legislative session:

Victories included a ban on shark fin sales, mercury thermostat collection program, buy local food procurement, and a $19 million increase in the Environmental Protection fund.

Shark Fin Sale Ban – Even though shark finning is illegal in New York, you can still purchase and sell shark fins.  Shark finning is the process of cutting off shark fins and throwing the shark back in the water.  This practice is a great threat to sharks around the world.  Banning the sale and possession of shark fins is the next step in working to end this damaging practice.

Mercury Thermostat Collection Program – Approximately 300,000 mercury filled thermostats are disposed of in New York annually. These thermostats are improperly disposed of in landfills and incinerators which threaten air and water quality.  This bill requires manufacturers to set up a program to collect these thermostats.

Buy Local Food Procurement – Working toward increasing investments in New York farms and food producers is the goal of this bill.  It requires that state agencies track their food procurement so that it is possible to identify opportunities to increase local food procurement.

$19 million Environmental Protection Fund increase – From recycling to clean water to farm support, the EPF provides state level funding for environmental programs across the state.  Every New Yorker, from Montauk to Buffalo benefits from the existence of the EPF.  Not only does it provide essential funding for critical programs, the EPF also positively impacts New York’s economy through investments in local programs.

Unfortunately, bad bills still pass the New York State legislature including a bill that would subsidize poor planning and building on the Hudson River that would lead to a liability for New York State taxpayers.

Excluding the EPF work which was done in the budget, the rest of these bills are awaiting signatures from the Governor.  You can call him to express your support (for Shark fin sale ban, mercury thermostat collection program, and buy local procurement) or opposition (Hudson River development).

In 2014 CCE will continue to work to get an expanded ban on TRIS chemicals, increased protection for children from toxic chemicals in children’s products, a coal tar sealant ban, a drinking water protection program for Long Island, pharmaceutical take-back program, incentive to reduce disposable bag use, hydrofracking moratorium, and will work to continue to expand the Environmental Protection Fund.

Please take a couple minutes to register your support with the Governor and thanks to all our members and supporters who sent in letters and made phone calls during the 2013 session.

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