BOL Passes Resolution Supporting the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act
The Westchester Board of Legislators unanimously voted to pass a resolution in support of the Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. The act, the first of its kind in over 25 years, seeks to invest $4.2 billion in state-issued bonds to improve current infrastructure to better prepare the state from natural disasters caused by climate change.
The allocated funds, designated by Governor Kathy Hochul in April 2022, will be divided into four main categories: $1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction, $650 million for open space land conservation and recreation, and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure. There is an additional stipulation directing 35% of the total funding to be used to rehabilitate disadvantaged communities.
The bill has been endorsed by a multitude of nonpartisan organizations further indicating the importance of the ballot measure’s success and benefit to the overall public. New York voters must flip their November 8 general election ballot sheet to indicate their vote.
Legislator Erika L. Pierce (D – Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers), Chair of the Committee on Environment, Energy, & Climate, exclaimed, “This bond act is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all New Yorkers to support clean air, clean water, and protect other abundant resources…It is also a job and economic generator, …but we only get these benefits if we flip the ballot over [in November] and vote.”
Chairwoman Catherine Borgia (D – Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill) affirmed, “I’d like to concur that this is an important bond act…There is a lot of work to be done in this area, and as someone who represents two disadvantaged environmental communities, I want to make sure Westchester gets its fair share.
Chair of the Committee on Economic Development Legislator Benjamin Boykin II (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, West Harrison) added, “This is an economic driver for the people of Westchester County and the people of the state of New York. It will continue to help us transition to a cleaner environment.”
Chair of the Committee on Public Works & Transportation Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D – Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington) voiced her support of the act and said, “We have crumbling water infrastructure…We desperately need this bond… We need it to protect our people from the effects of climate change. We need it to promote environmental justice in many of our communities which lack some of the resources they need to make sure that their water issues are properly taken care of.”
Legislator Jewel Williams Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health, (D – Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Elmsford, Greenburgh, White Plains) spoke on the Bill and further added, “Everyone should know…that Westchester County is one of the counties in New York with the most disadvantaged environmental communities, second to only New York City [counties]. Environmental justice and addressing climate change is also a health concern.”
New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “New York voters can make history this election by voting yes on the Environmental Bond Act, and now is the time for municipal governments and organizations to stand and be counted. The New York League of Conservation Voters commends the Westchester County Board of Legislators for leading that charge by passing a resolution in support of this historic measure and letting voters know where they stand and what this once-in-a-generation investment in clean water, clean air, and green jobs will mean for their community.”
Sustainable Westchester Executive Director Nina Orville commented, “We applaud the Westchester County Board of Legislators for its leadership in supporting the Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. This critical referendum provides an opportunity for New York State to protect clean drinking water, modernize infrastructure, and improve quality of life. It will help communities throughout Westchester to upgrade water and sewer systems to keep drinking water and our local waterways clean while creating thousands of good local jobs. We join the County in urging Westchester residents to vote yes on November 8th.
The resolution can be found on the Westchester County Board of Legislators’ website by following this link: https://bit.ly/EnvironmentalBondAct22