House Budget Released
The House Budget was released on Wednesday and as expected there have been a number of severe cuts to environmental agencies. The Department of Conservation and Recreation was hit the hardest with a $3.6 million recommended cut in funding for state and urban parks which will drop the budget from $44.9 million in FY2010* to the recommended $41.3 million for FY2011. To worsen the blow to DCR, its administrative budget was also slashed by more than $500,000. The Department of Environmental Protection's administrative budget was also reduced, from $27.9 million in FY2010* to $26 million recommended for FY2011.
Other significant cuts include the Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup line-item; the House recommended cutting $1.55 million from its $15.4 million FY2010 budget*. Less considerable cuts were recommended for other line-items including the Office of Dam Safety (cut from $427,000 to $410,000). Additionally, the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program, which was not funded in the FY2010 budget*, was again left without line-item funding in the House budget.
For these struggling agencies every dollar lost means additional cuts in already strained staffing and programming.
*Please note that the FY2010 budget includes several rounds of 9c cuts.
ELM is working with other environmental organizations to support amendments for additional funding to mitigate the most severe losses. We will keep you updated.