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ALBANY, NY (WENY) – As early voting unfolds and election day approaches, environmental advocates are trying to push forward a proposition on the ballot that aims to improve water quality.
Labor unions and other advocates gathered near the capitol Thursday morning to try and persuade voters to vote yes on The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Act.
“It’s just like a home that needs a new roof. Right now, we need a new roof in the sense of our environment and better environmental protection,” Aaron Mair, Forever Adirondack Wilderness Campaign Director of the Adirondack Council.
The $4.2 billion dollar legislation plans to allocate funds toward clean water infrastructure, state parks, and the Department of Environmental Conservation. It’s focused on addressing issues of flooding, heat waves, and water main breaks.
James Hanley, from the Empire Center for Public Policy said the funding could possibly push New York State further into debt. He also said some voters might have concerns about this legislation affecting their pocketbooks.
“I think tax, voters who are very tax diverse and very aware of the taxes they pay could certainly be concerned about this,” said Hanley.
But advocates emphasized that this legislation is well worth the investment.
“We have enormous drinking water and waste water needs in this state. Our pipes are crumbling, people are not being given access to clean water. This is a historic opportunity to invest in clean water and making sure that whenever New Yorkers turn on the tap, what’s coming out is safe to drink,” said Rob Hayes, Director of Clean Water, Environmental Advocates NY.
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