On the day of a large rally outside the Capitol, Senate Democrats introduced the first significant legislation against hydraulic fracturing since the 2010 moratorium imposed by former Gov. David Paterson and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Sens. Tony Avella, D-Whitestone, Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, and Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, introduced a package of bills April 11 that includes three bills for tighter regulations and transparency for oil and gas drilling and a bill by Avella to ban hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, in New York state.
Petition to Require Public Hearings on Outside Income Disclosure, Stripping Convicted Pols of Pensions and Independent Legislative Oversight
(Albany, NY) Ignoring the overwhelming public support for ethics reform evidenced in recent public polling, Senate Republicans continue to stall negotiations and block progress on this critical legislation even as the Legislature prepares to break for the remainder of April. To break the Albany logjam and deliver the change New Yorkers want, Senate Democrats submitted petitions to force public action on key ethics reform bills.
Answering the public’s call for action, Senate Democrats are seeking to force hearings this month on ethics legislation including:
“Once again, an important bill has fallen victim to the intellectually dishonest debate that unfairly pits environmental issues against job creation. My bill (S.425), which today failed to pass through the Environmental Conservation Committee, would implement common sense measures by requiring gas companies to disclose all chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing fluids and would ban the use of any substances deemed carcinogenic. However, instead of taking critical steps to ensure basic safeguards are put in place to protect all New Yorkers, my Republican colleagues have decided to stall this bill under the false pretense that it will hurt jobs in the upstate area.
The following oped was published in today's Our Town.
By Liz Krueger
Even in the best of economic times, it’s never “easy” to balance the State’s budget. This year it was particularly difficult because our state government had less money and more debt, while the need for public services has only increased. This is not a problem unique to New York: 44 states are facing a combined budget deficit of over $112 billion this year, as the nation struggles to climb its way out of the recession.
In the wake of the natural disasters that have devastated Japan and have unleashed a nuclear threat upon a reeling population, the threat of nuclear disaster at Indian Point, a nuclear facility in our own backyard, deserves critical consideration. In 2013 Indian Point will undergo review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) which will determine whether or not their operating license will be renewed, a critical moment in which the plant will either remain open or be closed.
Located just 25 miles north of New York City, Indian Point rests above the convergence of two fault lines. Alarmingly, a recent US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report revealed that Indian Point’s reactor 3 has the highest risk of earthquake damage of the 104 active nuclear plants.
"This year, as we continue to face a struggling economy, both locally and nationally, there was no easy way to balance our State’s budget. Our State government has less money and more debt, while the need for public services has only increased. New York is not alone; 44 States are facing combined budget deficits of over $112 Billion this year. As legislators, we knew that painful cuts would have to be made to vital programs, and the only fair scenario was one in which the sacrifices were shared by all. But when the language and details of this year’s budget were finally revealed, just hours before votes were cast, it became clear that this budget was anything but fair.
The following is an opinion piece penned by Senator Liz Krueger for Huffington Post:
Albany and City Hall are engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken, and thousands of homeless families are trapped in the middle.
Every spring, as we debate the tough choices that inevitably must be made to balance our budget, we hear from thousands of New Yorkers, non-profits and mayors -- from cities big and small -- who warn of the consequences of cutting the State programs they rely on.
Senator Liz Krueger is the new ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. She joined Liz Benjamin to discuss the progress being made toward reaching a budget deal – possibly ahead of schedule and how rent control could cause Democrats to vote against any budget, if the issue is not included.
"In the wake of the natural disasters that have devastated Japan and have unleashed a nuclear threat upon a reeling population, we must heed the warning of these catastrophic events and close the Indian Point nuclear facility. While I applaud the quick and decisive action taken by Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy to address concerns over Indian Point with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), I’m afraid that any action short of closing this facility is simply not enough.