Facilitate a Coal Free New York By 2020
Coal is one of the highest greenhouse gas emitting and environmentally harmful fuel sources for power generation. While coal supplied the bulk of our energy needs up until the 1950s, the nation now enjoys access to cleaner, greener and more sustainable energy resources for power production. In fact, today, New York State has only three active coal fired power plants that produce less than 4 percent of the state’s energy load and one plant is scheduled for closure in 2016.
To achieve the state’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector 40 percent by 2030 the Governor seeks to close or repower the three remaining coal burning power plants to cleaner fuel sources by 2020. To accomplish this goal, the Governor will direct the Department of Public Service and the DEC to work with the New York Independent System Operator to develop a regulatory framework that will ensure system reliability while facilitating repowering to cleaner fuel or closure no later than 2020.
To minimize economic impact on communities and workers the Governor will draw upon the state’s $19 million mitigation fund to help offset financial losses associated with the retirement of aging or obsolete power plants. Governor Cuomo is committed to working with plant owners and host communities to achieve his objective in a manner that will preserve jobs or retrain current employees for new jobs in New York’s clean energy economy and provide tax revenue stabilization assistance to local governments and school districts.
The Governor announced that New York State will allocate $300 million for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund – the highest amount ever for the fund and more than double the fund’s level when the Governor first took office. This increase will provide record funding for urgent environmental investments, adding resources for land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, waterfront revitalization, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.
These proposals further New York State’s legacy as an environmental leader and build on the Governor’s previous accomplishments – including his efforts to both reduce state greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and guarantee that 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York by 2030 result from clean and renewable energy sources.
Keep State Spending Under Two Percent
The Executive Budget will continue the disciplined approach to fiscal matters that has defined the Governor’s first five budgets. For a sixth time, the Budget again limits the annual growth in State Operating Funds spending to 1.7 percent.
Small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy, accounting for 43 percent of all private sector jobs in New York. During the last five years, Governor Cuomo has worked tirelessly to bolster the competitiveness of small businesses by lowering their tax burden. Since taking office in 2011, he has advanced a series of cuts that will save small businesses across the state $3.8 billion by 2021.
To continue growth of the small business sector and help further the expansion of New York’s economy, Governor Cuomo is proposing to cut taxes both for small businesses who pay via the corporate tax and those who pay through personal income taxes. Roughly 1,091,000 small businesses statewide will benefit from this proposal.
The Governor has proposed a Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition designed to reward local governments that take real steps to make living and working in New York State more affordable. The competition will challenge counties, cities, towns and villages to develop innovative consolidation action plans yielding significant and permanent property tax reductions. The consolidation partnership that proposes and can implement the greatest permanent reduction in property taxes will receive a $20 million award.
Continuing Successful Investments
Continued fiscal discipline allows New York to invest in proven strategies to diversify and grow regional economies and create stronger communities throughout the state. To build on the success of the Regional Council and Upstate Revitalization Initiatives, the Governor has proposed continuing this regional economic development approach with $950 million in the 2016-17 state budget to support a sixth round of the Regional Council awards and URI runners-up awards. Round VI of the Regional Council initiative will include $750 million to be split competitively among each of the state’s ten regions, and $200 million to fund top projects for the runners up from last year’s URI.
Additionally, the Governor proposes increasing the budget for the I LOVE NY campaign by 10 percent in order to continue growing New York’s significant tourism sector – which was responsible for more than 883,000 jobs and an economic impact of $100 billion in 2015.
Continuing Medicaid Relief for Local Governments
The State has eliminated growth in the local share of Medicaid, saving counties $800 million over five years (FY 2015-2019). For FY 2015 and beyond, the cost of Medicaid to counties subject to the property tax cap will not increase – all growth in the Medicaid program for these counties is being absorbed by the State. The State is also assuming Medicaid administrative responsibilities for counties. This will result in greater efficiencies and help achieve State and Federal health care reform initiatives.
Allocate $40 Million to Establish Permanent Law Enforcement Presence Statewide to Combat Terrorism
To respond to the need for increased protection of its citizens in the wake of heightened terrorist threats, the Governor initiated a counter terrorism surge in the New York City metro area in 2014 that provided an increased State Police, MTA Police, and National Guard presence. The State also launched the “See Something, Send Something” mobile application in 2015 that allows New Yorkers to report suspicious activity.
To protect against the increased threat to transit hubs and critical infrastructure, the State will establish a permanent State Police presence in New York City. These specially-trained, uniformed State Troopers will partner with dozens of investigators to strengthen the law enforcement presence in and around New York City. Moreover, the Governor has called for a total investment of $40 million, which will expand law enforcement presence to protect critical infrastructure throughout the State.
Provide Enhanced Training and Equipment to State Troopers
Recent terror attacks have revealed a trend towards coordinated strikes using military-style assault weapons, as well as home-grown extremists committing lone-wolf attacks. These attacks are easier to carry out on American soil and can occur anywhere within New York State. This new normal of terrorism requires an expanded approach to the State’s counter terrorism efforts.
Therefore the Governor will also invest $4 million to prepare New York State Troopers to respond to this emerging threat, both in New York City and throughout the State. This investment will provide high-powered rifles, body armor and ballistic helmets to all on-duty uniformed troopers, along with the necessary training to prepare them to respond to this evolving threat of terrorism.
Consolidate the Office of Counter Terrorism with the State Police
In 2015, the Governor announced that former New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly would conduct an in depth assessment of the State’s existing counter terrorism preparedness and prevention efforts. Commissioner Kelly has proposed a preliminary recommendation for the state to consolidate the operational components of the Office of Counter Terrorism in DHSES within the New York State Police’s Office of Counter Terrorism which the Governor has accepted. This shift will increase the efficiency of the State’s counter terrorism functions by consolidating all intelligence and analysis resources within the New York State Intelligence Center, under the singular command of the New York State Police. The enhanced unit will monitor all known threats and identify emerging targets using the latest technology and techniques. This effort will continue to support federal, state, local, tribal and private sector efforts to prevent, protect against and prepare for acts and threats of terrorism.
Close the Terror Gap
Today, states cannot use the federal government’s Terror Watch List to determine who may be licensed to own or permitted to buy a firearm and Washington D.C. can’t agree on the use of intelligence information concerning terrorists in gun background checks. The Governor calls upon the federal government to officially add the U.S. Terror Watch List to the criteria it uses for federal background checks in New York State. This would prevent known or suspected terrorists from legally purchasing guns and would cross-check the terror watch list with a National Instant Criminal Background Check System request, effectively closing the terror gap within the state and barring individuals on federal terror watch lists from legally arming themselves.
Download the brochure to learn more about policies and initiatives in our 2016 agenda and how they affect you.