NEW YORK—A bill before the state would, if approved by voters at next year’s general election, allow the state comptroller to issue $5 billion worth of bonds to infrastructure projects.
Bonds issued through the Clean Water/Clean Air/Green Jobs Bond Act of 2014 would be used for repairs on sewer and drinking water systems, for projects that help improve air quality across the state and for increasing the number of community gardens.
Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Suffolk County) and Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) sponsored the bill. Both men chair their respective Environmental Conservation committees. The bill was introduced to the Senate Aug. 21 and Assembly Aug. 28.
Clean water projects, including those that protect the state’s watersheds, flood control, drinking water supply protection, and water quality restoration projects would be eligible to apply for up to $2 billion worth of bonds.
Projects that would repair or replace wastewater and septic systems, and drinking supply systems, would be eligible for up to $2 billion worth of the bonds.
The remaining $1 billion would be allotted to projects for improving air quality, reducing pollution, restoring contaminated areas, and improving community gardens and greenways.
The bill would have to be reintroduced next year and, if approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, voters would be able to vote on it during the statewide general election in November 2014.
A December 2012 report from state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said New York would face a shortfall of up to $89 billion in funding for water, sewer, and transportation infrastructure over the next two decades, and Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene have only compounded the problem.