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New York Assemblymembers want NY HEAT Act included in state budget

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Members of the New York state Assembly on Tuesday urged the chamber’s speaker, Carl Heastie, and Gov. Kathy Hochul to include the NY HEAT Act, which aligns utility regulation with state climate justice and emission reduction targets, in the state budget.

Proponents of the measure say it is intended to limit costs to customers as New York state transitions away from natural gas while protecting them from predatory practices by capping utility costs at 6% of income for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers to prevent utility companies from hiking rates.

“Regular New Yorkers who did not create the climate crisis should not be paying to shoulder the cost of our clean energy transition, and NY HEAT ensures that transition is affordable, reliable, and planned,” said state Assemblymember Pat Fahy, who sponsors the legislation in that chamber. “This year, we can protect our planet and our pocketbooks by including the full NY HEAT Act in the final budget, and heed the call of New Yorkers everywhere who are asking us to take real climate action amidst increasingly expensive fossil fuel costs and extreme, climate-driven weather events.”

The state Senate passed the NY HEAT Act last year, but was never taken up in the Assembly. The Senate passed the measure again two weeks ago by a 40-22 vote.

“With gas utilities raising rates across the state in order to double down on outdated fossil gas infrastructure, it’s never been clearer that the status quo is not only unsustainable, it’s also unaffordable,” state Sen. Liz Kruger, who sponsored the bill on the Senate, said in a statement Tuesday. “Whether it’s $200 million per year that ratepayers are forced to pay to subsidize gas expansion, $150 billion ratepayers will have to pay to fix leaky pipes, or the continually skyrocketing price of gas, the status quo is an albatross around New Yorkers’ necks. New Yorkers deserve a break – and that’s just what NY HEAT will deliver.”

Hochul included some key provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her 2025 state budget, but not the entire piece of legislation.

The state budget was due April 1, but legislative leaders are still negotiating. The Legislature passed a budget extender to keep the government running through Thursday.

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