Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his annual State of the State address and released an accompanying policy book. For the first time since 2017, Governor Cuomo broke up his address into multiple speeches, including one on energy and the environment and one on infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure. While many of the announcements were not new policy, they included several NYLCV priorities that we are eager to work with the Governor to enact.
First, the Governor announced further progress on meeting New York’s goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030. This includes almost utility-scale solar, onshore wind, two large new offshore wind projects, and 40 community solar projects that will benefit communities around the state. Furthermore, the State is advancing multiple transmission projects to get renewable energy from where it is produced to where it is most needed in the electric grid. To ensure that the transition to a green economy benefits New York’s workers, the state is also investing in creating thousands of middle-class jobs in offshore wind manufacturing and servicing, with an emphasis on creating jobs for communities that are most impacted by climate change.
Second, the Governor announced or reiterated multiple transit investments that will help us transition to a zero-emission transportation system. This includes 100 new electric buses for public transit agencies around the state, taking a step toward 100% electric transit buses statewide by 2040. Governor Cuomo also reiterated his plans to redevelop the west side of midtown Manhattan as a public transit hub, including rebuilding the Port Authority Bus Terminal, advancing the Gateway Tunnel, and adding multiple new tracks to Penn Station. These projects will expand public transit capacity and make it easier for commuters to rely on mass transit.
Finally, Governor Cuomo announced a continuation of the groundbreaking Parks 2020 funding, now called Parks 100 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the state parks department in 2024, to continue improving the parks that so many New Yorkers have developed a new appreciation for during the pandemic.
NYLCV will work with Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to enact all of these policies in this year’s budget. We look forward to learning more about the Governor’s plans when the Executive Budget is released, and we will continue to advocate for policies that the Governor has not committed to yet, including a Clean Fuel Standard, authorizing direct sales of zero-emission vehicles, and establish extended producer responsibility for packaging materials.