New York state has postponed plans to place a $3 billion environmental bond on the ballot in November, citing a dire financial situation stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was my proposal. I believe deeply in it, but we need to have financial stability before we do that,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on July 30, during a press conference call.
Gov. Cuomo proposed the bond act in January as part of the state’s budget process. The state’s $177 billion budget, passed in April allowed the bond act question to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The bond, if approved by voters, would have allocated funding for habitat restoration, flood reduction, environmental justice communities, preservation efforts, renewable energy expansion, water quality improvements and more.
Cuomo referred to it as his bond to protect Mother Earth.
The proposal would have injected billions into the economy, creating needed jobs.
Finical hole due to COVID-19 delays action-
New York state is facing a nearly $14 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year, which began April 1, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.
“The financial situation now is unstable, as everyone knows,” said Cuomo. “We’re waiting to see what the federal government provides in aid. We’re waiting to see what happens with the economy. We’re waiting to see when the revenues come back to the state and that economic engine really starts turning.”
Cuomo wants the measure to be added to the ballot next year.