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Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: 520 - An Environmental Blog

Baby needs a new pair of green shoes

BY STEVE ORR
STAFF WRITER

Posted: February 17, 2014
Originally Published: February 17, 2014

In the latest skirmish of an old battle, advocates are pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to top off New York's Environmental Protection Fund, which provides aid for everything from local recycling programs to acquisition of open space.

The fund, created by law in 1993, is beloved by environmentalists, conservationists and others. But the amount of money placed in the EFP can change considerably from year to year, depending on the state's economic situation and the whim of Albany leadership. There have been numerous tussles over the funding level over the years.

A high point came in the 2008-09 fiscal year, when the fund was fattened with $255 million, according to Citizens Campaign for Environment. Just two years later the allocation was slashed to $134 million, and there it stayed until last year, when Cuomo and lawmakers raised it to $154 million.

The governor has proposed adding just $3 million to the fund in the coming fiscal year. But advocates, noting the state is flush with cash, think $200 million has a nice ring to it.

So once again, they've mounted a lobbying campaign and rolled the dice. Who wouldn't want a new pair of green shoes?