The October 12 PA Environment Digest is now available. Click here to print this Digest.
Senate Leaders, House Democrats and Gov. Rendell agreed to and passed a budget bill-- House Bill 1416 (D.Evans-D-Philadelphia)-- that includes the largest single cut in General Fund environmental spending in the history of the Commonwealth erasing 13 years of environmental progress.
The budget reduces overall General Fund moneys to the Department of Environmental Protection by 26.7 percent ($58 million) and includes an 18.5 percent reduction for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ($21 million).
The new budget may mean the furlough of over 300 employees at DEP.
After signing the budget, Gov. Rendell said, "The is truly an achievement in holding down overall spending and programmatic spending. This budget preserves everything voters say they care about- education, economic development and medical care."
The Governor's Office handed out a fact sheet to reporters showing General Fund spending at the Department of Environmental Protection was at the same level as in 1996-97, erasing 13 years of environmental progress.