- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Advocates for the environment and New York state parks are praising the $156 billion budget passed by the Legislature last week.

The spending plan approved on Friday contains $123 million in new money for environmental protection. That brings the total of the state’s Environmental Protection Fund to $300 million. The fund pays for land acquisition, conservation easements, farmland preservation and efforts to fight invasive species and revive waterfronts.

The Open Space Institute and Parks & Trails New York say they’re very pleased with the funding levels proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and approved by lawmakers.

The budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year also includes $90 million in capital funds as part of the state’s ongoing effort to upgrade its 180 parks and 35 historic sites after years of neglect left many properties with crumbling infrastructure.

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