State Sen. Marc Panepinto released the following statement Saturday:
"Based on the New York System Operator's latest reliability report, one thing is clear: The sun has set on coal-fired plants in New York state. While I am encouraged by what this will mean for our environment, I am deeply concerned by the ramifications such a closure will have a significant impact on Huntley's 79 employees and our local tax base. It is vitally important that we ensure a just transition for the Town of Tonawanda and all of entities affected. I'm proud to have introduced legislation to aid in that process and will continue to work with all of those impacted until a viable solution is reached."
Panepinto sponsored legislation (S.6051A) to allow municipalities, school districts and surrounding entities to be eligible for state funding in the event of the closure of a fossil fuel electric generating facility in the community.
Panepinto's legislation would accomplish the following:
•Amend S.6012 Part C Chapter 20 relating to appropriating money for certain municipal corporations and school districts, in relation to receiving moneys where a fossil fuel electric-generating facility has caused a reduction in tax collections and receipts from payments-in-lieu-of-taxes;
•Eliminate language requiring such municipalities and entities demonstrate a 20 percent loss in tax collections as a result of such a closure; and
•Provide access to a $19,000,000 state fund for a municipality or a school district to assist with sudden changes to the tax base upon closure of a fossil fuel electric-generating facility like in the Town of Tonawanda.
Panepinto represents the 60th Senate District, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo as well as communities in both the Northtowns and the Southtowns of Western New York.