Ryan outlines bold new programs in 2021 state of county address

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KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan, Tuesday, announced major programs aimed at helping families get back on their feet as the county and the rest of the world continue their fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on health and the economy.

Ryan’s Universal Basic Income Pilot Program will provide $500 per month for an entire year to 100 families.

“By teaming up with one of the world’s leaders on UBI, we can start to better understand what $500 a month for an entire year will mean for a single parent, a recent SUNY Ulster graduate, or a member of our senior community,” he said in his 12-minute pre-recorded message delivered in the Senate Garage in Kingston.

The county will become one of the first in the country to undertake such a large universal basic income pilot program, all funded through community donations.

The effort will be a partnership with Project Resilience, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and Ulster Savings Bank.

Ryan also announced his Green New Deal with three initiatives to “simultaneously protect our environment and boost our economy.”

The Ulster County Green Business Champions program to “mobilize businesses to take climate action and make their business greener, and to recognize businesses who are already leading in these efforts.”

The program will provide support to businesses in planning and implementing green investments including improved energy efficiency and using renewable energy.”

Solarize Ulster will “accelerate local renewable energy generation through community solar production and distribution.”

And, the Green Careers Academy will be expanded to provide “a more robust pipeline to help put people back to work post-pandemic in the rapidly expanding green jobs sector.”

The program, which was founded in 2019 in partnership with SUNY Ulster, will be expanded to include Ulster BOCES, Bard College, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Central Hudson, Citizens for Local Power, Habitat for Humanity, the Climate Reality Project, and several Local labor unions “to help train residents and help them secure good-paying green jobs.”