Voters will be asked to vote on $4.2 billion bond act this November

Legislative Gazette file photo

On Nov. 8, New York voters will be asked to vote on Proposition 1:  New York’s Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. If passed, the proposal would allow the state to borrow up to $4.2 billion for the purpose of improving and restoring New York’s natural resources while reducing climate change impacts.

Voters will see the following language on the back of their ballot:

“To address and combat the impact of climate change and damage to the environment, the ‘Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022’ authorizes the sale of state bonds up to four billion two hundred million dollars to fund environmental protection, natural restoration, resiliency, and clean energy projects. Shall the Environmental Bond Act of 2022 be approved?”

The borrowing measure would direct funds to four major areas: flood risk reduction, open space land conservation and recreation, climate change mitigation and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure.

The proposal seeks to improve the quality of New York’s drinking water by investing at least $650 million towards replacing lead pipes, expanding sewers and improving water treatment plants. An additional $650 million would be dedicated to conserving wildlife, improving and expanding public parks, and protecting farmland and other open spaces.

Air quality and public health would improve by investing $1.5 billion towards funding clean school buses, planting trees along streets and modifying public buildings to improve energy efficiency and air filtration.

The bond act would update New York community infrastructure by investing $1.1 billion towards projects like updating roads, bridges and stormwater systems to reduce flooding risks. 

Supporters of the bond act say it will also improve and conserve wildlife habitats by repairing wetlands, forests and shorelines. Furthermore, these projects would support about 100,000 local, family-sustaining jobs, strengthening the New York economy and job markets.

At least 35 percent of the total funding must be spent in disadvantaged communities, with a goal of reaching 40 percent. 

Voters can find their polling place at the state Board of Elections website. The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. 

Early voting for the General Election will take place October 29 to November 6.