The 2022 Statewide Ballot Proposal, proposition No. 1, passed with overwhelming numbers with 69.1 percent of the vote or over 2.9 million yes votes to the 1.2 million no votes on Tuesday, Nov. 8. As of press time, on the morning of Nov. 9, about 69 percent of the vote for the proposition was in.
The proposition will allow the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 to address and combat the impact of climate change and damage to the environment by authorizing the sale of state bonds up to four billion two hundred million dollars to fund environmental protection, natural restoration, resiliency, and clean energy projects.
Now that the proposition has passed, the act will allow the state to borrow up to $4,200,000,000 to provide funding for capital projects for restoration and flood risk reduction (at least $1,100,000,000), open space land conservation and recreation (up to $650,000,000), climate change mitigation (up to $1,500,000,000), and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure (at least $650,000,000).
The proposal also will allow the state to refund the debt to take advantage of lower interest by allowing the comptroller to issue additional state bonds in sums up to or exceeding the amount of the bonds initially issued to refund, to advance refund, or otherwise to repay part or all of such bonds prior to the scheduled dates of their maturity.
The local environmental group, Citizens Campaign, called the proposition “a historic opportunity to protect our drinking water, beaches, and bays, preserve open space, and improve air quality.” Their group, and several others, led a ballot flip movement encouraging the public to vote in favor of the proposition, including the Peconic Land trust and Students for Climate Action, who attended a last-minute meeting to discuss the opportunity at the Snapper Inn on Oct. 31 in Sayville.