Emergency flood funding legislation passes, awaits Cuomo’s signature

The New York State Senate today announced that a bill to accelerate the availability of emergency funding for water infrastructure has passed both houses and been delivered to the Governor.

The bill sponsored by Senator Pam Helming (R-C-I, Canandaigua), moved quickly through the Legislature to help provide resources to fix infrastructure damaged by flooding and high water levels in communities along Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and tributaries.

Senator Helming said, “Residents and volunteers in communities impacted by flooding have banded together and are working around the clock to protect homes, small businesses and vital infrastructure. However, many towns and villages are beginning to exhaust their limited financial resources.”

She added, “If made available, this emergency grant funding will provide the immediate short-term relief and protection these communities need. This legislation moved quickly through both the Senate and Assembly, sending a clear message that this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. I strongly urge Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation as soon as possible.”

The 2017-18 State Budget created the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 and a new financial assistance program to address water infrastructure emergencies that are imminent hazards to public health, public welfare, the environment.

However, the emergency infrastructure funding does not become available until August 18, 2017 – 120 days after the budget’s passage. Communities currently affected by significant flooding and property damage along Lake Ontario and in other municipalities cannot access the funding specifically designated to address ongoing emergencies like these.

The Senate’s bill addresses this urgent need by removing the 120-day waiting period to provide an option for municipalities to seek immediate financial relief from the state.

The Governor has 10 days to consider the bill.

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