Opposes Halt to Gas Tax or Criminal Justice Reform, Opposes Public Funds for Buffalo Sports Stadium
The Green Party today said that the accelerating climate crisis calls for the state to enact the Green New Deal as part of this year’s state budget, with at least $30 billion devoted to the state building out renewables and enactment of an economic bill of rights including universal single payer health care, a guaranteed living wage job and income, universal child care, affordable housing and tuition-free public education from pre-K through college.
Rather than halting the state’s taxes on gas, the Greens would provide a large rebate to low-and-middle income New Yorkers funded through a carbon tax (polluter penalty), and tax on the profits of gas and other fossil fuel companies.
Transportation is one of the two largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and emissions have continued to rise in New York from cars and vehicles over the decades. “What we are seeing at the gas pumps is price gouging and we need to halt it. We need to accelerate the move away from fossil fuel vehicles while also dramatically improving and expanding mass transit and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians,” added Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States.
The Greens strongly oppose any government funds for a sports stadium for the Buffalo Bills. The Greens noted that such corporate welfare giveaways never produced the promised resulting tax revenues, jobs or economic stimulation.
“Efforts in New York to change the criminal justice system should focus on ending the systemic racism within the local police departments. They need to be demilitarized, with the focus on community protection and de-escalation techniques, ending their culture of using violence and intimidation. Public security needs to be overhauled to embrace community control with present police funding allocated to more services such as mental health and nonviolence training,” said Peter LaVenia, co-chair of the Green Party of NY.
The Greens also support proposals such as parole for elderly inmates, and expanded programs to assist offenders in re-integrating into the community starting with jobs. The Greens pointed out that studies such as by the NYC Comptroller shows that bail reform is working. In the US, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the role of bail is merely to ensure that defendants appear for trial.
Howie Hawkins first proposed an ecosocialist Green New Deal in his 2010 campaign for Governor. “The IPCC has declared a Code Red for life on the planet because politicians’ efforts like the CLCPA are far too slow and timid to prevent climate collapse. Climate change is accelerating. We need to focus on public ownership and democratic planning on the energy and economic systems to speed up the transition to 100% clean renewable energy and zero emissions by 2030. We have to halt all new fossil fuel use and infrastructure and rapidly phase out existing uses,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins said he supports the proposals put forth by the Climate Can’t Wait collaboration of 40 climate groups. The Greens support the All Electric Building act which has a 2024 deadline for ending the use of gas in new buildings compared to Hochul’s 2027 proposal. The Greens continue to support the Off Fossil Fuels / 100% Renewables by 2030 Act as a replacement to the CLCPA and are critical of the state’s unwillingness to actually provide adequate funding for environmental justice communities and for a Just Transition. The Greens support the proposal to end more than a century of pollution in the Sheridan Hollow low-income community by transitioning the Capitol complex to 100% renewable energy. They would also stop the climate-busting proof-of-work system such as the Greenidge facility near Seneca Lake.
The Greens support the call to adopt a much stronger Extended Producer Responsibility act post-budget to reduce packaging and other waste, as well as expanding the state’s bottle bill.
The Greens have advocated for an expanded and improved Medicare for All program for decades and urge lawmakers to finally adopt it this year, especially in light of the pending retirement of long-time lead sponsor Assemblymember Richard Gottfried. The Greens also support providing $3 billion in funding for excluded workers struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic.
The Green Party will field a candidate for Governor in 2022 despite the new ballot access laws passed by the Democrats to kill the non-fusion third parties.