Thursday, August 6, 2020

Bond Act becomes another casualty of pandemic

In case you missed it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he would not be putting the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act on the November ballot this year.

Cuomo said he was postponing it, due to the state’s dire finances. Though the bond act passed the state Legislature this year, a provision in the state budget said if finances were poor, the state budget director has the authority to pull the bond act from a public vote. That move, however, effectively kills the bond act.

Cuomo can’t really postpone it. The bond act will have to get approved again by the state Legislature. Considering the state has a $30 billion deficit over the next two years, it’s hard to say what will happen.

Some environmental groups argued that the bond act could have helped jumpstart the economy, funding clean energy jobs and helping the state meet its demanding greenhouse gas emissions reductions.It’s a hard sell to ask voters to take on more debt when local governments and schools are facing unprecedented cuts. Climate change is happening, though, and as President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe said, “Government can’t continue treating the environment as a luxury–it is a critical asset.” Maybe it would have been good to let voters decide.

The bond act was already up against criticism, however, for not being more specific on what projects it would fund. Maybe that will be something government officials will hash out for next year. It would be helpful to have more clarification if the bond act would fund, for example, specific trail maintenance and upgrades in the Adirondacks. We know that is needed.

Editor’s note: This originally appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” email newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.




7 Responses

  1. Wally Elton Wally Elton says:

    Disappointing. There is no uncertainty about the state of our planet.

  2. Charlie S says:

    “Government can’t continue treating the environment as a luxury–it is a critical asset.”

    Tell that to the idiot in chief in DC and his goon squad fellow neocons! Trump is, by design, making things very inconvenient for states under democratic leadership….is one of the reason why we are in financial straits. After all it is an erection year and it is about the people not politics right?

    “There is no uncertainty about the state of our planet.”

    Yes, and especially with these people in power now who are collossal disbeliever’s in science. Who knows Wally! Maybe this pandemic will become a little more selective in choosing its victims and start taking out those evil-doers who are a detriment to not only life as we know it, but ‘life’ in general too. That would surely benefit future societies.

  3. JohnL says:

    “Idiot in chief in DC and his goon squad fellow neocons”. Wow, Charlie, couldn’t you think of any more words of wisdom to shift the blame for NY states’ financial problems to somebody other than our own home grown politicians. You’re slipping, pal.

    • Boreas says:

      Now NYS is to blame for being left out to dry when it was the major epicenter for the pandemic? What was the federal response again – a hospital ship? Find your own respirators? Governors take charge (because we don’t have a clue)? If any red state had been the epicenter, do you suppose they would have been treated the same way by the current administration? It appears the bulk of the financial cost of the pandemic will need to be shouldered by NYS taxpayers as our federal taxes continue to bail out the rest of the country. Our citizens already paid dearly in blood – now we shoulder the financial repercussions.

      • JohnL says:

        Yup. Our governor took charge all right. Sending COVID patients back to nursing homes to die and cause others to die, when he KNEW they weren’t equipped to handle them. You scoff at the hospital ship, the Javits Center beds, and the respirators, most of which were never used, yet our governor was the one who asked for them. And yet again, they were made available by this ‘red’ President to this ‘blue’ state.
        I agree with the Feds helping our state out where the pandemic is concerned, but I’ve told our President and my representatives to NOT send money to states, like ours, that are high tax and high spend, for general bailouts. We suffer financially, not because of the pandemic, but because of our D controlled Governor/Senate/Assembly that loves to tax and spend. We reap what we sow.

        • Charlie S says:

          “Sending COVID patients back to nursing homes to die and cause others to die…”

          I agree with you on this JohnL. It was not the right thinking and even though i’m trying to find justification for him doing so I’m having a hard time with it. Would I have done the same had I been governor? I doubt it…at least knowing now what I know about Covid-19. Did Cuomo act on this before he became fully aware of the scope of this virus? If yes then maybe there’s justification and he can be excused, but I’m still with you in thinking it was way wrong…. how could he not have known how dangerous that was!

          Regards your response to Boreas! He has some valid points and there sure are a lot of things that were done wrong on both sides of the fence, as is always the case but we’re going to dissect to justify whomever it is we support why stop now. I suppose we can go months back and see where we went wrong when this whole thing began JohnL, how slow we acted, how we ignored the warnings, etc. How “It’s under control!” We can pin blame there also. But then there’s always something to find wrong in those we abhor isn’t there? Imperfect, temperamental, biased constituents that we are! If both parties would find some common ground, which wont happen with the divider-in-chief we have now, we might not be seeing the high numbers of Covid-19 cases that we’re seeing…fer shure! Something needs to be fixed before long else all of the hot air will be for naught no matter who the next puppet is!

  4. Charlie S says:

    He is an idiot JohnL! Which don’t really say much for his supporters now does it? And I’m not a Biden fan by the way just in case you’re thinking I’m being a partisan emoticon.
    We’re all having financial problems, red, white, and blue states, it’s just par for the course. But… don’t you read the news?

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