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New York State Proposes $3 Billion Bond for Climate Resiliency

Despite the daunting threat posed by COVID-19, the State of New York is not putting climate resiliency on the backburner. A proposed $3 billion bond measure titled “Restore Mother Nature” highlights that - despite the current health and economic challenges being faced by COVID-19 -  lawmakers are willing to prepare for changing climate conditions by laying the groundwork for long-term investments in resiliency. 

An agreement between lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo released on Wednesday, includes about $1.5 billion available for resilient infrastructure and also includes some funds for voluntary buyouts of threatened properties.

“This is really a down payment of what the state needs to do in order to become more resilient, but it’s a really good down payment,” said Amy Chester, Director of Rebuild by Design. “We’re going to have to change the way we invest in infrastructure to make sure everything we’re building or repairing is resilient."

The "Restore Mother Nature" bond act, which was included in the Capital Projects bill released on Wednesday, is currently slated to be on the November ballot. There’s $1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction, which includes a maximum of $250 million for a buyout program, and a minimum of $100 million each for shoreline protection and inland flooding or waterfront projects. For water quality improvements and “resilient infrastructure,” $550 million is set aside, including a minimum of $200 million for water infrastructure projects and $100 million for stormwater grants to municipalities.

A summary of the broad bond funding categories is available here

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