Just In! is NY-GEO’s weekly news feed for members. NY-GEO’s calendar-year memberships are open to everyone and available for as little as $35. See more information on memberships here. Click here to see some of the work a NY-GEO membership supports. We also feature three of the top news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday.
Geo Sales Tax Exemption Bill Advances in NY Senate – On March 7th the NY Senate Budget and Review Committee unanimously forwarded Senator James Sanders, Jr’s Geothermal Sales Tax Exemption bill (642a) to the Senate Finance Committee. This bipartisan vote could be a welcome step toward its inclusion in the State budget. Thanks to Committee Chair Gounardes and Committee members Kaminsky, Krueger, Liu, Rath III, Salazar, Weik for their support. Senator Kaminsky initiated the motion, and it was seconded by Senator Rath, III. A video of the very short meeting is available here on the Senate website.
Kelles Op Ed: New York Needs $15 Billion in Climate Funding Now – Assemblymember Dr. Anna Kelles made the argument for a major investment in equitable clean energy in the Ithaca Voice this week. “The truth is that we cannot afford not to act now and invest the necessary funds to meet our climate goals. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), each ton of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) causes more than $125 in damages. Given the DEC’s most recent 2019 estimate of net CO2 emissions (350 million metric tons) this results in nearly $30 billion annual cost as a result of climate pollution in New York State. Every storm that hits the downstate region, every warm winter reducing tourism in the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes, every flood destroying crops upstate, has a significant direct cost to New Yorkers. Every child and medically vulnerable individual that requires costly medical care and hospitalization from breathing in polluted air is a substantial and unnecessary cost to our state. All those who experience a disproportionate level of air pollution in predominantly black and brown communities due to our current fossil fuel-based energy production system is a healthcare cost and a loss of economic productivity. We can reduce all of these costs by prioritizing emissions reductions.” Full essay here.
All-Electric Building Act Moves in the NY Senate – S6843B, Sponsored by Senator Brian Kavanagh, would move up Governor Hochul’s deadline for removing fossil fuel systems in new construction from 2027 to 2024. On March 9th the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee voted to commend the bill to the Senate Finance Committee, setting the stage for the bill becoming part of the Senate’s “One-House” budget. That budget will be part of negotiations with the Governor and Assembly leadership to produce an adopted state budget. Voting in favor of the bill were Senators Kavanaugh, Brisport, Jackson, Myrie, Rivera and Salazar.