FINAL POINT-Progressives at an intersection

 

At the intersection of preparation and opportunity you can find a whole bunch of advocates who have pushed state legislation for years only to run into the wall that had been the Republican-controlled State Senate.

After November’s big blue wave, Democrats now control the chamber along with the Assembly and governor’s mansion, and those advocates feel well-positioned for a payoff on all that work.

Two such umbrella groups — the Long Island Progressive Coalition and NY Renews — visited Newsday’s editorial board Wednesday afternoon to highlight some of their signature proposals.

For the LIPC, it was public campaign financing, and its members were buoyed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal in Tuesday’s budget address for a 6-to-1 match on donations of $175 or less. Cuomo’s embrace means “we’ve won” on selling the concept, Stephan Edel, director of the New York Working Families Project, told The Point, but “negotiations are going to be hard” when it comes to reconciling Cuomo’s bill with measures from the Assembly and Senate.

NY Renews is getting behind two climate change-oriented bills. The headliner was the Climate Change and Protection Act, which would take the state entirely off fossil fuels by mandating a 100 percent cut in human-created emissions by 2050.

“The governor has evolved. Yesterday, he put some cards on the table,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, referring to Cuomo’s budget pitch for the state to get 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. “It has broad bipartisan support…We’re pretty confident it will come up for a vote.”

The enthusiasm was captured by LIPC director Lisa Tyson, who said simply: “It’s a new state.”

But it’s still Albany, and even with the new party alignment not all the sailing will be smooth.

Michael Dobie

Taken Newsday Online – Progressives at an intersection

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