Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D - Ulster/Dutchess), Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, announced today that Governor Paterson has signed into law legislation creating the Green Jobs / Green New York Program (S.5888/A.9801 - Aubertine/Silver and S.6032/A.9031 - Aubertine/Cahill).
"The goal of the Green Jobs / Green New York Program is three fold. It is designed to create jobs, lower energy costs for households, not-for-profits and small businesses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Assemblyman Cahill. "I am proud to have worked with Speaker Silver and Assemblyman Sweeney to sponsor this important legislation. I thank Governor Paterson and Senator Aubertine for their leadership in guiding this package through the Senate and into law."
Assemblyman Cahill also lauded the efforts of the many supporters that united behind the legislation. "The passage of these bills would not have been possible without the hard work of a broad coalition of environmental groups, labor activists, and community based service organizations," said Assemblyman Cahill. "Specifically, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Center for Working Families, Environmental Advocates, the IBEW, the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation and a special thanks a great labor leader, Todd Diorio."
The Green Jobs / Green New York Program will direct funding to communities, homes, small businesses and not-for-profits to develop a workforce with a goal of conducting one million energy efficient building retrofits over the next five years. This $112 million statewide program, administered by NYSERDA, creates a pilot capital fund and establishes on-bill and other financing mechanisms for customers performing energy efficiency building upgrades. The initial funding will come from the State's groundbreaking carbon emission cap and trade program, known as RGGI (pronounced REGGIE). These monies will be used to establish the program and to leverage the private investment needed to make it self sustaining.
The bill also provides funding for job training and development, in conjunction with the trades and educators to create a green workforce from unskilled to skilled to professional. The program requires close coordination with labor, trade organizations and community service groups to help create a career ladder providing the education, training and ancillary services that will allow a green workforce to thrive long after Federal stimulus funds have dried up.
"This is exactly the type of innovative initiative President Obama envisions when he talks about creating green jobs and the new clean energy economy," said Assemblyman Cahill. "A successful program here in New York will establish us as a national leader in tackling the tough challenges of climate change and employment opportunities in the 21st Century."