URGENT - Environmental Budget Cuts
April 13, 2011 - Today, House Ways and Means Committee released its recommendations for the FY 2012 budget and the environmental agencies saw additional deep cuts. Between FY 2008 and the House Ways and Means FY 2012 budget, the environmental agencies have been cut by 23%--almost a quarter of the environmental budget has disappeared!
We are particularly concerned with the large decreases in DEP's administrative line-item and DCR's state and urban parks line-item (see table below).
If you care about wetlands protection, hazardous waste site clean-up, water quality monitoring or enforcement of our environmental laws, please ask your members to contact their state Representative and urge that he or she support amendments that will increase funding for DEP.
If you care about safe, clean parks and stewardship of our invaluable state park system, urge support of amendments that will increase funding for DCR.
Amendments are due this Friday and debate on the House budget will take place the week of April 25th. ELM and our colleagues are in the process of asking a number of House members to sponsor amendments to increase funding. Once those are filed, we will be doing a sign-on letter urging all House members to support these amendments. If your organization endorsed the Green Budget, you will automatically be included on the letter.
Once we have the entire list of environmental amendments and amendment numbers we will get that information to you.
The table below is a funding comparison by agency. Both DEP and DCR have been cut by about 30% since FY 2008! Unless we make ourselves heard - loudly - these cuts will stand. Once the House concludes its budget deliberations we will turn our attention to the Senate-it's budget will be released in mid-May.
The table below is a list of those line-items that we included as priorities in our Green Budget FY 2012 along with one additional item, DCR's Watershed Management line-item which saw a deep cut as well. We were also disappointed that there was no reinstatement of the line-item for the Natural Heritage program which has received no appropriation from the general fund for several years now.
For more information about the environmental budget, please visit the ELM Green Budget page or contact Nancy Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.