Majority of Voters Support $4.2 Billion Environmental Bond Act

New Paltz Women in Black stand on the corner of Main Street and Platekill Avenue protesting for climate justice in 2019. (Courtesy of SUNY New Paltz)

This story was originally published by The Legislative Gazette.

The most recent Siena College poll finds strong support among likely state voters for a proposal to borrow $4.2 billion for environmental protection and clean energy projects.

Siena College pollsters asked, “On the ballot this year is a proposal to authorize the sale of up to $4.2 billion of state bonds to fund environmental protection and clean energy projects. Will you vote yes or no on the environmental bond act, or do you not intend to vote on that?”

Of the 707 likely voters surveyed, 54% responded “yes” while 26% responded “no.”

Eight percent of voters said they do not intend to vote on the ballot proposal and 12% said they do not know or they refused to answer.

The borrowing measure would direct funds to four major areas: flood risk reduction, open space land conservation and recreation, climate change mitigation and water quality improvement, and resilient infrastructure.

Among political parties, the poll showed major Democratic support for the act — 78% of Democrat voters said “yes” while 6% said “no.” Meanwhile, 23% of Republican voters said “yes” while 52% said “no.”

The Environmental Bond Act has support among independent voters also, by a margin of 47 to 32 percent. 

In terms of political views, the poll also showed strong liberal support with 90% of voters saying “yes” and 0% saying “no.” 

Moderate voters said they plan to vote for it by 59% to 20%. On the right end of the political spectrum, 19% of conservative voters said they will vote “yes” while 55% say they will vote “no.”

By region, 69% of New York City voters said “yes” while 10% of voters said “no.” In the suburbs, 46% of voters support the ballot question while 36% of voters said “no.” 

Upstate, 48% of voters said “yes,” while 32% of voters said “no.”

The Environmental Bond Act, which promises environmental justice projects to reverse years of pollution in minority communities, has strong support among Black and Latino voters, with 70% and 64% support, respectively.    

At least 35% of the total funding in the bond act must be spent in disadvantaged communities, with a goal of reaching 40%. 

The Siena poll was conducted Oct. 12-14, by telephone calls in English to 707 self-identified likely voters in New York state. It has an overall margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

The Environmental Bond Act will be on the back of the ballot for all New York voters on Nov. 8.

Voters can find their polling place at the state Board of Elections website.  

Early voting for the General Election will take place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6.