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Assemblyman Colin Schmitt on Hochul Veto

Albany, NY — Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I,LBT,SAM - New Windsor) released the following statement in response to Governor Hochul’s veto of the Assemblyman’s Chester Community Preservation legislation:

Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt stated, “Despite overwhelming community support and votes in the legislature Governor Hochul vetoed a bipartisan piece of legislation supported by all local government leaders in the Town of Chester to allow a public vote on community preservation programs for water, land, natural resource and historic landmark conservation. It is ridiculous she rebuked the will of our local community by releasing the veto Friday night of the Christmas holiday weekend during a statewide state of emergency for extreme winter weather. The Governor is wildly out of touch yet again with her veto of community preservation legislation for communities in Orange County and I hope she keeps an open mind in the future to listen to the will of her constituents.”

Schmitt concluded, “I am not sure how the Governor can justify signing a bill to conserve 30 percent of land and water by 2030 across New York State, yet on the same day veto my legislation that will conserve land and water in Chester!”

Editor's Note: No specific reason was given for the Veto. Numerous other towns in Orange County have had PDR Plans approved and they have functioned successfully in both Warwick and Goshen, both of which are adjacent to Chester. Both Chester and Blooming Grove have had programs submitted to Governor Hochul, and previous to her by Governor Cuomo during the past 3 years. PDR programs have also been successful throughout all of New York, such as the following very well state financed plan as described in the State's Land Preservation documents for Cayuga County:

"Cayuga County's Farmland Protection Program launched in 2001 with an award of over $1,000,000 dollars from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) for protection of 676 acres on the DeGroff Farm in the Town of Fleming, through the purchase of development rights on that farm. Between 2001 and 2022, Cayuga County has helped secure $17,741,555 in funds to protect a total of 9,246.84 acres on 18 farms in the Town of Aurelius, Brutus, Cato, Fleming, Ira, Scipio, Springport and Sterling. This active farmland is now protected by permanent conservation easements; and these easements are currently held, monitored, and enforced by the New York Agricultural Land Trust (NYALT). NYSDAM administers New York State's Farmland Protection Program, which can pay for up to 87.5% of the cost of PDRs. "

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