Groups Lobby Governor to Sign Environmental Funding Bill

Dec 12, 2012

New York environmental groups are ramping up their lobbying to convince Governor Cuomo to sign a new funding bill for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.

The New York Legislature passed the Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act earlier this year, to provide additional money for land, air and water protection and conservation. That bill has only recently moved to the Governor’s desk and New York Public Interest Research Group Senior Environmental Associate Laura Haight is concerned whether it will be signed.

For the past few years the Environmental Protection Fund has been allocated 134-million dollars  per year - about half the amount it received at its peak level of funding. Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy in New York Jessica Ottney Mahar explains that the Enhancement Act would provide an additional 56 million dollars over five years.

New York League of Conservation Voters Spokesman Dan Hendrick explains that the funding source is  unclaimed bottle deposits.

The legislation was passed in June but was not forwarded to the Governor until last week, giving  the Governor ten days to decide its fate.  The Nature Conservancy’s Jessica Ottney Mahar believes the delay in getting it to the Governor’s desk does not indicate potential rejection of the measure.

The Governor could sign the bill, veto it or take no action - in which case the act would become law. Calls to the Governor’s press office were not returned in time for this broadcast.