Sunday, September 11, 2022

Bond Act deep dive

pataki and bond act

November is around the corner. That means voters will be deciding on an unprecedented level of state debt–$4.2 billion–to fund water-quality projects, climate change mitigation, open space protection and more.

As I was teasing a couple of newsletters back, we dug into records from 26 years ago to see what New Yorkers got for their borrowing the last time around. It was remarkable to compare the detailed responses I got from some state agencies to how little I got from others. Some even said they’d purged records from that far back. You can read about the record hunt here.

And here is what we call in journalism “the main bar.” It is the lead story in this two-parter, and talks about how the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act of 1996 came about, how the campaign for it went and what we got for it. We did not include all projects funded in this piece, but I hope we offered a representative smorgasbord–landfill closures, new boat launches, prime real estate and even the hybrid vehicle technology from the late 1990’s. If you scroll to the end of this story you can read through the last state Department of Environmental Conservation financial report we were able to find.

On a lighter note, here’s a story about how trail cameras are helping tell the story of wildlife populations and how they are impacted by climate change. There’s a gallery of Adirondack creatures to click through, thanks to the Adirondack Inventory and Monitoring Camera Trap Network.

Photo: Former New York State Gov. George Pataki, second from left foreground, holds a press conference by the shores of Lower Saint Regis Lake on Monday August 7, 2000, at Paul Smith’s College. Times Union photo by Paul Buckowski

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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