Preserving our Environment. Pat is consistently an outspoken advocate in the New York legislature for protecting the environment. She’s proud to be the only Upstate Assemblymember to receive a 100% rating from both the New York League of Conservation Voters and Environmental Advocates of New York in 2017. Pat was a strong advocate for the inclusion of an additional $300 million for New York’s Environmental Protection Fund in 2017, which supports the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, the NYS Preservation League, parks, land conservation, and numerous other local environmental programs. Pat is a founding member of the NYS Environmental Legislators Caucus.
Investing in Clean Water and Flood Mitigation. Language from Pat’s proposed bill to encourage shared services by doubling the maximum grant funding available (to $10 million) for participating municipalities was included in the 2017 state budget, which lead to a record increase for water and sewer funding. The Capital Region benefited from this incentive with a record $10 million awarded to the Albany Pool Communities and $2.4 million to the Town of Guilderland. On a related matter, systemic flooding has been a repeated problem for decades for residents in Guilderland’s McKownville neighborhood, and Pat successfully directed a $1.25 million capital grant to resolve the problem.
Conserving Open Space in the Town of Bethlehem. While communities benefit from preserving open space, they often have a difficult time in conservation efforts to preserve undeveloped lands. When uncontrolled, large developments can strain local infrastructure resources (such as roads, water and sewer) and services (such as school, police and fire). Pat sponsored legislation to enable the Town of Bethlehem to provide substantial property tax exemptions for approved large landowners who agree to conserve open space for a minimum of 15 years or in perpetuity, allowing for smart, sustainable economic development.
Working for Oil Train Safety. Pat has spearheaded efforts to protect our community from oil train disasters in New York. Pat introduced legislation to require oil trains carry sufficient insurance to pay for cleanup costs should a derailment disaster occur. This bill has passed overwhelmingly in the NYS Assembly with strong bipartisan support for the last few years, but has failed to move in the Senate.
Building Public Transit Infrastructure. As a founding member of the Assembly’s Upstate Caucus, she helped secure an unprecedented increase of more than $100 million in Upstate Transit capital funding over four years in 2016, which has led to critically needed expansions in CDTA services.