In 2015, we challenged Assembly Environmental Conservation Chair Steve Englebright to find common ground with his Senate counterpart. While common ground was largely elusive, Chair Englebright answered the call and moved critically important bills, some of which await the Governor’s signature.
As lead sponsor of both Super Bills (the Child Safe Products Act and Closing the Hazardous Waste Loophole), and a new bill to create a state Ocean Acidification Task Force, Chairman Englebright set
the tone of environmentalism in the Assembly. His efforts to protect our children, establish a blueprint for protecting our oceans from carbon pollution, and his work to keep bad legislation with a smokestack rating from gaining traction, earns him our 2016 Legislator of the Year!
What truly sets Mr. Englebright above his colleagues was his tremendous leadership on the biggest challenge facing this and future generations: climate change. He won funding to help communities lower their carbon footprint and become more climate resilient. And, he secured Assembly passage of the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, the most comprehensive and bold climate bill ever introduced in the United States. His bill not only sets climate and clean energy goals into law, it ensures equity for disadvantaged communities and workers as the state transitions to a 100% clean, renewable energy economy.
Mr. Englebright took on big polluters and their legislative allies, some of whom incredulously claimed climate action would lead to “the end of people.” A testament to his leadership and resolve is that his bill rapidly garnered a bipartisan majority of Senate co-sponsors.
Protecting kids, enhancing our environment, and fighting climate change. These are the traits you want in Legislator of the Year, and this is what Steve Englebright brought to the 2016 session.