Getting to a final budget deal in Albany isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.
On Tuesday, lawmakers, advocates, and members of the press listened to over eight hours of testimony on Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed environmental conservation budget.
The governor’s budget, which was unveiled last month, includes an increase of $1 billion for an environmental bond proposal, $500 million for water infrastructure and $400 for the state’s environmental protection fund.
One of the through lines of Tuesday’s hearing was the work to hit the state’s renewable energy goals laid out in 2019’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The state needs to hit 70% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 and have 100% carbon free electricity by 2040.
Environmental advocates argue that the state hasn’t done enough to ensure it will hit the CLCPA goals. At Tuesday’s hearing, advocates and some lawmakers pushed for passage of the Build Public Renewables Act, sponsored by state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn), which would allow the New York Power Authority to build more renewable energy projects and would allow the authority to sell renewable energy to the public. Marie French, Politico NY’s energy and environment reporter, told Capital Tonight that not everyone is on board with the BPRA and state policy makers say the private sector is responding in the way it needs to.
The state budget will need to be passed by April 1 to be on time. Hearings on the governor’s proposed budget continue through Feb. 16.