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Source: The Buffalo News

Letter to the editor: New budget initiatives will benefit environment

Posted: April 16, 2009
Originally Published: April 15, 2009

In what was an arduous budget process in New York, local legislative leadership provided a light at the end of the tunnel. As lawmakers worked to close the steep budget deficit, the budget also included important victories to benefit every New Yorker and our environment.

New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, our foremost tool for protecting our land, air and water, was largely in jeopardy during the budget process. Fortunately, the fund was restored in the final budget, ensuring that programs to protect our environment, foster economic development and create green jobs will be able to continue.

Also, after seven years of debate, the state updated and expanded the Bottle Bill to include a 5-cent deposit on bottled water. This critical initiative will increase recycling, save energy and decrease litter and waste going to landfills.

None of this would have been possible if not for the hard work of Sen. Antoine Thompson. New to the role of chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, he performed like a seasoned veteran and true champion for the people, economy and environment.

Brian Smith

WNY Program Director, CitizensCampaign for the Environment