ELM Releases FY2011 Green Budget

By George Bachrach (ELM President) and Nancy Goodman (ELM Vice President for Advocacy)

Some in government bravely argue we can do more with less. In truth, we can only do less with less. Despite reforms, consolidations, efficiencies and hard work, we will accomplish less in the year ahead. In FY ’01 the budget for environmental agencies represented a meager 1% of the state budget. In FY ’10 that percentage has dropped to .6%. We are moving in the wrong direction.

We are advocates for the environment. We offer the Green Budget FY 2011 as a tool for our friends in the Legislature and our colleagues in the environmental advocacy community. We are grateful to the 38 organizations that have endorsed this document.

As we do each year, we remind our friends that the environment is not just a pretty picture. It is inextricably linked to our economy, jobs and our future climb out of recession. If we cannot achieve adequate funding for DEP, DCR and sister agencies, we will not be able to timely permit new construction…and the jobs that go with it. We will not be able advance our conversion to renewable energy and new technologies…and the jobs that go with it. If we cannot open our parks and clean our beaches, our $14 billion tourism industry is at risk…and the jobs that go with it. And, we will not be able to adequately protect our air and water, which just last year led some of our communities to shut off their taps and rely on bottled water. This cannot be our future.

While every state agency must tighten its belt, we will fight to hold environmental budgets at their FY ’09 levels (including 9c cuts). We cannot allow our environmental and economic health to be undermined.

To view the FY2011 Green Budget, click here.

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