On June 29, the legislation to amend Article XIV of the New York State Constitution passed both houses of the New York Legislature. If adopted by voters, it would create a 250 acre land bank in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. The land bank would be available to municipalities to address highway and bridge safety as well as water supply issues where no feasible alternative exists. For a constitutional amendment to be enacted, it must pass the Legislature for two consecutive years and then be presented to the voters for a final decision. This approval marked the second year in a row that the amendment passed both houses of the Legislature. This measure will now make its way onto a ballot for a statewide referendum.
Catskill Center Statement on the Second Passage of the Amendment:
From Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center:
The approval of this amendment represents a great opportunity for communities of the Catskill Park while retaining important protections for Catskill Forest Preserve lands. Broadband expansion can proceed more quickly and much needed health and safety improvements will move ahead in a clearer and more direct way when Forest Preserve Lands are involved. The Catskill Center is grateful for the hard work of the Assembly and the Senate, including Assemblymembers Cahill and Gunter and Senator Bonacic, and for the collaborative spirit all stakeholders engaged in to get us to this point.