Senator Kenneth P. LaValle’s annual Environmental Roundtable provided the opportunity for the Senator and his Assembly colleagues, Marc Alessi (left) and Fred Thiele (right), to hear from organizations and concerned individuals about environmental issues impacting the First Senate District.
The Governor’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was of critical importance to the group. In recent years, EPF funds have been raided to fill the general budget gap. The Governor’s 2010-11 budget makes further cuts and will have a negative impact on land, air, and water preservation and protection initiatives. Senator LaValle and the Assemblymen acknowledged the seriousness of the funding cuts and will be working together to protect and restore EPF funding for projects critical to our region.
Senator LaValle also committed to making the restoration of state funding for breast cancer research and advocacy a priority. Last year’s budget cut funding to programs such as the Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF) at Cornell and the Breast Cancer Hotline at Adelphi University. “Our region of the state is reported to have a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer,” said Senator LaValle. “With mounting evidence that certain chemicals have a negative impact on public health, it is important that we continue to fund programs that study environmental risk factors, as well as those that educate and support cancer patients.”
Another call to action that came out of the Roundtable was the timeliness of making open space purchases. This a valued investment and the present economy allows for greater purchasing power. However, competition with developers is strong, so the time to act is now. “We should be looking at installment purchases that will allow us to achieve our land preservation goals in a cost effective manner,” concluded Senator LaValle.