Posts Tagged ‘NYS Budget’
Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State presentations, last week we learned about his 2022 proposed budget. Cuomo was largely asking the federal government to give the state more money, citing the coronavirus pandemic. New York is currently almost $15 billion in the hole.
But after Cuomo talked, some budget documents were released with a better idea of what next year could look like.
I’ll be delving into those in a bit more detail, but overall, we found that Cuomo plans to keep intact the $300 million Environmental Protection Fund, an important source of money for Adirondacks projects. The state Department of Environmental Conservation could be getting some new staff members, but it looks like they will be focused on implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Some funding was renewed for Essex County to address overuse in the High Peaks, and $250,000 was renewed for the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.
The Adirondack Council thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Legislative leaders April 1 for much-needed environmental capital projects that were slated to be approved in the NYS Budget agreement.
They included a $3-billion “Restore Mother Nature” bond act and a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund that includes money to address overuse and preserve the most popular wilderness areas, trails and destinations in the Adirondack Park.
Given the challenges the Governor and Legislature are facing with the coronavirus outbreak, this is a very good budget for the Adirondacks. We understand that there may still be some need to economize as state revenues may be affected by the current public health crisis. This budget recognizes that clean water, open space, wildlife and a healthy environment remain priorities no matter what other challenges we are facing.
How has the Adirondack Park Agency fared under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposals? The question hasn’t received any media attention for obvious reasons. It’s a mini state agency, budget-wise.
With a proposed operating budget of $5 million – just .004 percent of the proposed state budget of $137 billion – APA hardly raises fiscal eyebrows. Budgeted for 54 full time staff, APA employs .03 percent of all state employees.
Yet, the Adirondack Park comprises one-fifth the acreage of New York State. It’s constitutionally protected wild lands are honored as a National Landmark and International Biosphere Reserve. It’s subject to one of the country’s earliest and largest regional land use planning laws. But the Park has just one legislatively authorized planning agency, the APA, congruent with all six-million acres. » Continue Reading.
While applauding large portions of Governor Cuomo’s proposed environmental budget, including support for the Governor’s Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, the nonprofit Adirondack Forest Preserve advocates Adirondack Wild submitted testimony to the State Legislature which calls for additional DEC Forest Rangers and trail crews and the testing of a pilot reservation system to reduce congestion and damage to the High Peaks Wilderness. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Council applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for proposing State Budget funding that will combat climate change, protect clean water and preserve Wilderness, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.
On top of the newly announced $3-billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act proposal, the Governor’s plan adds another $500 million investment in clean water project funding, in addition to the $500 million previously announced for this year’s budget. » Continue Reading.
Conservationists had much to applaud after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature passed a State Budget that will protect clean water, buy new park land, resist invasive species, build more resilient trails and make the park more welcoming place for all state residents.
Conservationist also had a right to wonder why the budget included no additional staff at key agencies, and why the state didn’t pass comprehensive legislation requiring the state to meet new carbon emissions goals. The budget did include funding for some climate initiatives. » Continue Reading.
While applauding the state’s efforts to boost tourism, protect clean water and fight climate change, on Wednesday the Adirondack Council called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to protect the Adirondack Forest Preserve against overuse, all-terrain vehicle trespass and other threats. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently released draft budget for 2019-2020 is disappointing because it misses some major priorities for the Adirondack environment and communities.
Major issues across the Adirondacks, such as increased funding for the High Peaks Wilderness to build a sustainable trail network, more Forest Rangers, or a larger Environmental Protection Fund to meet major challenges of climate change, were all ignored in this budget. » Continue Reading.
I listened to NCPR’s Brian Mann recent report about NYS DEC Forest Ranger staffing, and the great pressures on the static ranger staff resulting from so many emergency incidents. DEC Commissioner Seggos’ remarks appeared to be resistant to the need for additional Forest Rangers. He was quoted as saying that the entire DEC staff must rally to help to relieve the pressures on the Rangers and – I would add – on all natural resource professionals at the DEC. In other words, don’t worry members of the media, members of the public, we always do more with less.
In my experience, this Commissioner is very responsive to issues facing him and pays attention to detail. I also know he supports his people in the field. However, it was important for him to hear the support for more DEC Forest Rangers from local government representatives, like Wilmington Town Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors chair Randy Preston. The supervisor was persistent because he knows what we all know: that the DEC Commissioner has no authority to increase the number of rangers, or foresters, or wildlife or fisheries, or operations or campground professionals. The urgent message that DEC natural resource and lands and forests and ranger personnel are at the breaking point must get to the Governor. Local government officials make excellent messengers. » Continue Reading.
On Friday of last week, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature approved a 168.3 billion dollar budget, within the context of what was considered to be a lean budget year.
In spite of the budgetary challenges the Governor and Legislature faced this year, core environmental funds were upheld, including the Environmental Protection Fund and community water infrastructure funding approved over the last few years.
The final approved budget contained a mixed bag when it came to more detailed aspects of the budget; some were good, and some were bad. What follows is a review of the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year: » Continue Reading.
While the budget and staffing levels within the Department of Environmental Conservation have been on life support for a decade now, the Police Benevolent Association of New York State (PBA of NYS) – the union that represents forest rangers – is advocating for moderate staffing increases based on dramatic increases in the amount of state land, recreational users and search and rescue operations that have occurred in the same time period. » Continue Reading.
On Tuesday, January 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his proposed budget for the state fiscal year that starts April 1. The tax bill recently approved in Washington, and the need to close a more than $4 billion budget gap have set the backdrop for a challenging budget year. In spite of this, Governor Cuomo presented a budget with a mixed bag of proposals: some good, and some bad.
This week, the Senate and Assembly passed their respective one-house budget bills, marking the beginning of three-way negotiations. They have announced their intent to pass a budget by March 29th, in hopes that they can finish the budget before Easter and Passover. » Continue Reading.
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