Senate Majority To Advance Legislation To Aid New Yorkers In Storm Recovery

February 13, 2024

Today, the Senate Democratic Majority will advance legislation to further protect New Yorkers and provide them with relief from the cataclysmic impacts of climate change.

As New York experiences increasingly severe weather patterns and frequent storms, the need to establish unified and coordinated fronts and initiatives involving all levels of government to address the problems of flooding, sea level rise and torrential rainfall is necessary now more than ever as these events are no longer one-offs but have become repeated occurrences. This legislative package will implement proactive measures to combat catastrophic climatic changes at a time when many areas of New York have recently been negatively impacted and devastated by emerging unpredictable weather patterns.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “As we witness the devastating impact of recent storms on our communities, it is clear that swift and effective action is needed to aid in the recovery process. Our residents are facing unimaginable challenges, and it is our duty as elected officials to provide the support and resources necessary to rebuild and heal. Today, I am proud to announce our commitment to introducing comprehensive storm recovery legislation that will not only address the immediate needs of our constituents, but also establish a resilient foundation for the future. I am particularly proud of my bill in this package which will help New Yorkers facing housing insecurity after being stuck with large property tax bills following severe weather events. By working together and prioritizing the well-being of our citizens, we can ensure that New York emerges from these difficult times stronger and more prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.”

Bill Sponsor and Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Senator Pete Harckham said, “Due to climate change, regular storms now often become superstorms. We need to address this issue head-on because residents and business owners have pressing questions about property damage, avenues for assistance and recovery efforts. This new package of legislation focuses on storm management, preparedness and cost assessments. It also includes bills I introduced to make the public aware of pollutant discharges and the state’s expenditures in response to storms, two areas where greater transparency is needed.”


The legislation being passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes:

  • Climate Change Property Tax Assessment Relief Act: This bill, S7515, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, enables local governments to provide assessment relief to property owners within eligible municipalities who are affected by acts of nature causing damage to their primary residence.
  • Flood Insurance Investigation: This bill, S8167, sponsored by Senator Neil Breslin, directs the Department of Financial Services to conduct a comprehensive study on private flood insurance, including the affordability of insurance premiums and availability of flood insurance coverage in the state.
  • Stormwater Expenditure Report: This bill, S8170, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, requires the Department of Environmental Conservation, after consultation with the Environmental Facilities Corporation and the Department of State, to submit an annual agency stormwater expenditure report.
  • Public Notice of Increased Runoff from Construction Activities: This bill, S8171, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham, requires that owners and operators of construction projects requiring a stormwater runoff permit must notify the relevant counties of the project and its potential for increased runoff, and that counties must publicly post that information.
  • Re-convening the Sea Level Rise Task Force This bill, S8110, sponsored by Senator Monica Martinez, reinstates the Department of Environmental Conservation-led NY Sea Level Rise Task Force to evaluate progress on the Task Force’s previous recommendations for protecting coastal ecosystems and increasing community resilience to sea-level rise and propose next steps for safeguarding New York against the worsening threat of sea-level rise.
  • Establish a Designated Office for Flood Abatement:  This bill, S3335A, sponsored by Senator Mayer, would create an office of Flood Prevention and Mitigation tasked with coordinating existing state work on flooding, supporting municipalities in their efforts to prevent and mitigate flooding, and researching flooding impacts and mitigation in New York.
  • New York City Seawall Study: This bill, S1812A, sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo, requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a study on the feasibility of constructing a seawall and other flooding mitigation measures along the coastline of New York City
  • Increasing Eligibility for the Coastal Market Assistance Program: This bill, S8320A, sponsored by Senator Mayer, increases the number of properties that are eligible for the Coastal Market Assistance Program, particularly in the Long Island Sound and Great Lakes regions.

Bill Sponsor Senator Neil Breslin said, “With the frequency and severity of weather related events increasing, it is critically important that we take a closer look at their impact on the affordability and availability of property insurance. By directing the Department of Financial Services to conduct a study on this issue, we will better understand what measures we may need to enact to both protect consumers and ensure a viable insurance market.”

Bill Sponsor Senator Monica Martinez said, “Just as with the tides themselves, our coastlines are always in a state of flux. Recognizing that these transformative flooding events are no longer one-offs, but rather recurring threats to communities across Long Island, it is essential for our state’s approach to reflect the evolving situation.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am so pleased that the Senate is taking action to address flood recovery, resilience and preparedness, as New Yorkers are facing more severe and intense storms. New Yorkers are resilient, but these storms, reminiscent of Hurricanes Ida and Sandy, cause untoward financial hardship for many. My bill to establish the Office of Flooding Prevention and Mitigation will help provide municipalities, counties, and individuals with the tools we need to tackle the scale of the work ahead and ensure the state has an integrated strategy for addressing persistent flooding. I am also pleased that my bill to expand the Coastal Market Assistance Program passed, so more homeowners can receive assistance getting insurance coverage for these devastating storms. Thank you to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues for moving these important bills, and demonstrating our unwavering commitment to protecting New Yorkers and combating climate change.”

NYSAC President and Albany County Executive, Daniel McCoy, said, “We applaud the New York State Senate’s proactive and comprehensive approach to addressing the urgent challenges posed by extreme weather events and climate change. These bills collectively represent a significant step towards enhancing storm recovery and building resilience in our communities. Counties share the Senate’s commitment to safeguarding our residents and infrastructure, and we look forward to continued collaboration to address the critical issues of flooding, stormwater management, and climate resilience for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”


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