Assemblyman Burke: Assembly Budget Proposal Makes Environmental Protection a Priority in SFY 2021-22 Budget

“Today, I voted for a proposal that includes an increase of $100 million in funding over the proposed executive budget for a total of $400 million for the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). While this is just one step of the process while we work toward a final budget agreement, it demonstrates the Assembly’s commitment to protecting our environment.

“Since the pandemic began, I have fought alongside my colleagues in the Assembly to get the virus under control, keep people healthy and get Western New York families back to work, and that will continue to be my focus,” said Assemblyman Pat Burke (D-Buffalo).“However, we must not lose sight of the natural resources that we, as a state, need to succeed. Climate change is as big a threat as ever to New York families, and we must continue investing in the protection of our planet. Increasing funding for these critical environmental provisions in the Assembly budget will keep New Yorkers safe while also helping to grow our economy.”

Within the Environmental Protection Fund, the Assembly budget provides an increase of $100 million over the executive proposal, including the following increases:

  • $14 million for land acquisition;
  • $12 million for agricultural and municipal non-point source pollution control;
  • $10 million for farmland protection;
  • $10 million for municipal parks;
  • $10 million for environmental justice;
  • $10 million for municipal recycling;
  • $9 million for a new appropriation to address planning and infrastructure issues related to overuse in the Adirondack and Catskill Park;
  • $8 million for the Water Quality Improvement Program;
  • $7 million for Zoos, Botanical Gardens, and Aquaria (ZBGA);
  • $6 million to combat invasive species; and
  • $4 million for publicly available, municipal electric vehicle chargers.

In addition, the Assembly budget allocates $500 million for clean water infrastructure which includes:

  • $200 million for the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA);
  • $50 million for the Lead Service Lines Replacement Program
  • $40 million for land acquisition
  • $40 million for WIIA – emerging contaminants; and
  • $30 million for the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program.