Democrats in NY Senate put new focus on climate change

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Democrats in the New York state Senate say they're putting a new focus on climate change after taking over from Republican lawmakers who had resisted calls for action.

The Senate held a hearing Tuesday on legislation to move the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The legislation also includes funds for clean energy job training and communities most impacted by climate change, such as coastal areas.

More hearings are planned later this week in New York City and on Long Island. Republicans had blocked hearings or a vote on the bill before Democrats took over this year.

The hearings are a critical step before the bill heads to a vote in the Senate. Environmental advocates hailed Tuesday's hearing as a sign that lawmakers are taking climate change seriously.

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