Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Play

Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.

Play

Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Push is On for NY to Add Environmental Rights to State Constitution

Play

Wednesday, July 28, 2021   

ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state environmental advocates and lawmakers kicked off a campaign for its passage this November.

Some 80% of New Yorkers support adding the "green amendment" to the state Constitution, according to a Siena College poll.

Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of the group Environmental Advocates NY, said the measure would change Article 1 of the state Constitution by giving each resident the right to clean air and water.

"We will argue that decisions now will have to be screened, of whether it violates a constitutional right to clean air and clean water," he said, "and we think it's going to lead towards more thorough and better front-end decision making that will reject a lot of the proposals that are out there now."

He pointed to the proposed Danskammer fracked-gas power plant and the longtime water crisis in Hoosick Falls as environmental-justice issues for Hudson Valley communities that need further attention. If approved by voters, the change to the state's "bill of rights" would take effect in January.

Jennifer Wilson, deputy director of the League of Women Voters of New York State, said the move would ensure that environmental health is at the forefront in writing legislative policies and plans for economic development.

"New Yorkers who can't afford to move away from these areas, they're suffering," she said. "These residents are hurting right now, and that's only going to continue to grow if we do not guarantee businesses and elected officials have a mandate to protect the well-being of all New Yorkers."

The "green amendment" also would prevent people from creating loopholes in existing laws. Eddie Bautista, executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, said he thinks it's time to make clean air and water a constitutional right.

"We should have a right to clean air and clean water - except we don't," he said. "Even when we are strategic, sophisticated and politically powerful enough to get laws passed, they're only as good as their enforcement or even the legislative body in question's commitment to it."

The initial effort for a "green" constitutional amendment in New York began in 2016.


get more stories like this via email
Nearly 57% of Washingtonians who attended college but have no degree or certificate are age 35 or older. (Monkey Business/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The number of people with some higher education but no degree or other credential to show for it has increased in recent years, according to a new …


Environment

Starting this month, chemical companies will resume being taxed for cleanup of areas with a lot of leftover toxic waste, also known as Superfund …

Social Issues

Today is the deadline for Missouri residents to make sure they are registered to vote if they want to cast a ballot in the August primary. Eligible …


U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., is among the chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, founded in 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

As states ban abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, women's advocates in New York and beyond are raising awareness of the outsized impact …

Social Issues

The fate of more than 600,000 so-called "dreamers" hangs in the balance as opening statements are heard today in a case that could make or break the D…

PETA wants the government to change its rules that allow "humane" labels on meat products without an audit of farm practices to confirm they are cruelty-free. (Marco Verch/Flickr)

Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

Social Issues

A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…

Social Issues

As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021