Howie Hawkins, the Green Party of New York State candidate for Governor, said today he opposed Governor Paterson’s proposal to raid more than $100 million from the Environmental Protection Fund under the guise of raising $6 million to keep state parks and historic sites open.
When the state is rebating $16 billion annually to Wall Street speculators from the Stock Transfer Tax, it certainly doesn’t need to raid an already depleted fund for environmental capital projects in order to keep state parks open. It’s time to stop using the EPF as the Governor’s personal piggy bank. Paterson is deceptively and cynically using the upcoming the Memorial Day weekend, when parks are working people’s vacation resorts, to rob the environment to pay off Wall Street.
New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was created in 1993 during an economic recession. The idea was to create a pay-as-you-go capital projects fund. It was reserved for large, one-time purchases such as land for parks, recycling facilities, landfill closures, and historic preservation. It was clear that these needs weren’t being met through the year-to-year spending of state agencies.
“Unfortunately in recent years, New York’s governors and state legislatures have raided our Environmental Protection Fund. Five hundred million dollars has been diverted from the Fund over the years, one-quarter of which was raided in 2009 alone,” said Hawkins.
“Instead of cutting parks and environmental funding in a recession, we should be increasing them to put people back to work to stimulate economic The best economic policy is to use progressive tax and spending policies to shift money from the rich, who are investing their savings in paper assets instead of new productive assets, to the working people, who will spend their income on basic goods and services, which will be good for all businesses that serve ordinary consumers,” Hawkins added.
“While Mr. Cuomo starts his announcement by attacking bankers and Wall Street for our state’s problems, he fails to join me in supporting the call to tax Wall Street to bail out New York,. He says he wants campaign finance and ethics reform. We all know that he will raise more money than the other Gubernatorial candidates. Why not pledge not to take any campaign contributions from Wall Street, bankers or any interest that does business with the state?” asked Hawkins.
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