Legislation to Establish Environmental Fund Passes Senate

José M. Serrano

June 22, 2010

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Damaris Olivo | (212) 828-5829 | dolivo.nys@gmail.com

Albany, NY- The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S7657), sponsored by José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx), that establishes a New York City parks, trees, and urban forestry fund by means of a "check-off" on city income tax returns. This initiative will increase funding for the purposes of environmental conservation without making additional demands upon state funds.

"The passing of this legislation represents a victory in the battle for the environmental health of urban neighborhoods," said Senator Serrano. "It empowers individual tax-payers by allowing them to make a contribution to a fund that will have a true impact on reducing ecological hazards, like carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously improving our landscape and quality of life."

Through a check-off option, taxpayers will have the opportunity to make a positive difference in their environment by making a gift to this fund, which will be used for the planting of trees and shrubs, park preservation and expansion, and the maintenance and improvement of New York City Botanical Gardens. The Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation of New York City will be responsible for overseeing the fund, and for ensuring that the money is spent for the intended purposes.

The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Queens) in the Assembly, has now passed both legislative houses and is awaiting action by the Governor.