New York Proposal 1 Ballot Measure: What To Know

This November, New York State voters passed New York Proposal 1, which authorized $4.2 billion in bond funding for climate change mitigation projects, flood risk reduction, water infrastructure and recreation, including:

Up to $1.50 billion for air and water pollution reduction projects; wetland protections to address sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding; relocating or retrofitting facilities; green building projects; solar arrays, heat pumps, and wind turbines in public low-income housing areas; zero-emission school buses; street trees and urban forest programs; green roofs and reflective roofs; and carbon sequestration on natural and working lands;

At least $1.10 billion for flood-risk reduction, coastal and shoreline restoration, relocating and repairing flood-prone infrastructure and roadways, and ecological restoration projects;

Up to $650.00 million for land conservation and recreation plans, programs, and projects, as well as fish hatcheries; and

At least $650.00 million for projects related to wastewater, sewage, and septic infrastructure; lead service line replacement; riparian buffers; stormwater runoff reduction; agricultural nutrient runoff reduction; and addressing harmful algal blooms.

These funds can qualify as the non-federal match for federally funded projects, including grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and other federal programs.

The initiative funds programs particularly relevant to Syracuse and central New York, including:

Not less than $400.0 million for green buildings projects on state-owned buildings, state colleges and universities, and public schools.

Not less than $200.0 million for reducing or eliminating "water pollution or air pollution affecting disadvantaged communities,” as chromium (hexavalent) has been detected in Syracuse drinking water above regulatory guidelines. 

Urban forestry projects, including street trees and habitat restoration.

Projects identified in state and regional management and restoration programs and plans, including the Great Lakes Action Agenda and Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda

No more than $250.0 million for purchasing properties identified as at-risk to flooding from willing sellers for flood-risk reduction projects. As eight counties around Lake Ontario have flooding issues, this will help move flood safety projects forward

Removal or alteration of right-size dams, bridges, and culverts;

Ecological restoration projects, including floodplain, wetland and stream restoration, forest conservation, endangered and threatened species projects, and habitat restoration projects to support fish and wildlife.

Not less than $200.0 million for open space land conservation projects;

Not less than $200.0 million for wastewater infrastructure 

Projects that address harmful algal blooms.

The fund-matching in particular can make projects that have been planned but difficult to pay for feasible for towns that need funding, and opens the door to making a wider range of improvement projects competitive as federal grants become available. At GZA, we’ve developed a grant funding process that looks ahead in the cycle, seeking financing for the next stage of the project as the current one unfolds.