Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fiscal Code Bill Amendments Cut $39 Million From Environmental Funds

House Bill 1605 (James-R-Butler), the Fiscal Code vehicle that will help implement the FY 2016-17 state budget, was given final approval by the Senate and House Wednesday and Gov. Wolf signed the bill into law a short time later.
The bill redirects $39 million in monies from the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund, the Recycling Fund,  a CFA green building program and other special funds to the state’s General Fund to help balance the budget.
The fund transfers and other provisions of House Bill 1605 include--
-- Transfer monies from these funds to General Fund: $5 million from Alternative Fuels Incentive Fund and $9 million from Recycling Fund;
-- Limits transfers from the Marcellus Legacy Fund to Environmental Stewardship Fund to $20 million (should be $35 million, the second year in a row funding has been limited) and limits the transfer from the Marcellus Legacy Fund to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund $5 million (a $10 million cut);
-- Transfers $12 million from CFA High Performance Green Buildings Program to the CFA Natural Gas Infrastructure Development Program (second year in a row this transfer was made).
The bill also includes language that exempts any well that does not penetrate the Onondaga horizon from the Oil and Gas Conservation Law which came from Senate Bill 1145 (Yaw-R-Lycoming).
Other provisions in the bill would establish the DCNR Heritage Parks Program in law and increase in-lieu of tax payments for DCNR State Forest Land.
Click Here for a copy of the 57-page amendment language.  Click Here for the Senate Fiscal Note and summary.
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