Posted by Chelsea Kadish on Monday, July 12th, 2010
By: Peter B. Fleischer
New York's budget crisis is forcing government at all levels to re-evaluate how it allocates increasingly rare public dollars. As officials seek to identify and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending, they will find some of the waste is hiding in plain sight.
Travel to downtown Buffalo or to many of the state's older suburbs and you'll find decaying sidewalks, half-empty shopping centers, vacant lots and abandoned homes. Then travel a few more miles into what was until recently open countryside, and you'll find big new homes sprouting from former farm fields. Meanwhile, the population of many counties and the state continues to decline.
On August 30, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law the State Smart Growth and Infrastructure Policy Act. This groundbreaking new law will fundamentally change the way that state agencies fund public infrastructure projects by requiring the use of smart growth principles to combat sprawl and promote environmentally sound development. Passage of the law was a top legislative priority of environmental groups throughout the state.
Leading environmental advocates, elected officials and community groups joined together to celebrate enactment of the Smart Growth Infrastructure Policy Act (S.5560B/A.8011B). On August 30, 2010, Governor Paterson signed this important legislation into law, which establishes state smart growth infrastructure criteria and requires state agencies to review and consider these guidelines when allocating funds for public infrastructure projects.
The law requires the relevant state agencies to form smart growth advisory committees that will consult with residents, environmental groups, local officials and other stakeholders before approving state construction projects.
The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) has named Senator Suzi Oppenheimer as its “2010 Legislator of the Year”. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing the legislative priorities of AIANYS. Senator Oppenheimer is receiving the award for her sponsorship of the Smart Growth Initiative, which was recently signed into law.
Responding to a conversation with Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) addressing her concerns, New York’s Secretary of State, Cesar Perales, has confirmed that his Department will not issue new interpretations of the NYS Residential Code (RCNYS or the Code), which local officials had feared would require onerous and expensive repairs to homes in flood prone areas.