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NY budget addresses Suffolk septic woes, breast milk program

ALBANY — New Yorkers will get up to $10,000 from the state or half the cost of replacing their septic tanks as part of a $2.5 billion water quality act in the 2017-18 state budget.

The program targets Suffolk County and the Finger Lakes region, communities where the threat to drinking water from septic tanks is most acute, said Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City).

Health spending in the budget will also include a widely supported measure to expand the use of a breast milk donation program to help save premature babies’ lives and avoid lifelong disabilities, which had been cut from negotiations a week ago.

Hannon and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) made a last-ditch effort to revive the low-cost program after it was vetoed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a year ago.

Legislators started passing budget bills Tuesday night and were expected to complete the budget by Friday.

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