WE ACT Responds to the 2023-24 New York State Senate and Assembly Budgets

March 15, 2023
Contact: Chris Dobens, 718-679-8542, chris@weact.org


NEW YORK — New York State’s Senate and Assembly released their 2023-24 proposed budgets, which are a precursor to the annual three-way budget negotiations with the New York State Governor’s office. In response, Sonal Jessel, MPH, WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s Director of Policy, issued the following statement:

“We thank the Senate for including the New York Home Energy Affordable Transition Act and the Build Public Renewables Act, the latter of which polls show that 80 percent of the state’s Democrat voters support, in its budget along with Good Cause Eviction. We were also happy to see the Climate and Community Protection Fund in the Senate’s budget, as it will provide funding for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“And we are pleased that both chambers included the All-Electric Buildings Act, as well as a requirement for the state to achieve zero on-site emissions and full decarbonization of State-owned campuses and facilities by 2040, focusing on both the highest-emitting facilities and facilities in disadvantaged communities, along with strong labor standards. Of course, we are also happy to see that both budgets included increased funding for the Environmental Protection Fund, with the Senate notably allocating $15 million for environmental justice.

“However, we are extremely disappointed that neither chamber included the Energy Efficiency, Equity, and Jobs Act in their budgets, which would lower energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create good jobs by allowing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to fund energy efficiency programs that include remediation for mold, lead, and other healthy housing issues that currently exclude low-to-moderate income households from participating. We are also shocked by the absence of an increase in funding for the critical Home Energy Assistance Program in both budgets, even as the Biden administration has allocated more funding for the program than ever before so that more people can afford to heat and cool their homes.

“Overall, we are excited that the legislature is taking steps to fund the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. As the two chambers work with Governor Kathy Hochul on the state’s final 2023-24 budget, we urge them to fund holistic housing interventions to improve the environmental health of homes and to increase energy efficiency. We still lead the country in the worst childhood lead poisoning crisis due to paint in old homes. Low-income homes will be left behind in our energy transition if the state does not step up to the plate to help buildings with their critical maintenance needs.”

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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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