Thursday, July 14, 2016

FY 2016-17 Budget Snapshot: What’s In The Budget For The Environment-- Nothing Much

Now that it’s done, here’s a quick snapshot of what is and isn’t in the FY 2016-17 Pennsylvania state budget for the environment--

CBF-PA: PA State Budget Lacks Funding To Reach Clean Water Goals
Harry Campbell, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania said, “The new budget falls short of providing the resources necessary for the Commonwealth to successfully follow-through on the rebooted clean water strategy it committed to earlier this year.  With its latest budget, the Commonwealth has missed yet another opportunity to step up and make significant progress toward meeting the commitment it made to its citizens to clean up and protect our rivers and streams.”

PA Growing Greener Coalition: Must Invest More In Environmental Cleanup, Parks
The PA Growing Greener Coalition Thursday issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to the state budget agreement-- “This budget reflects the second year the Growing Greener program has experienced a significant reduction of $15 million. Combined with last year’s cut, the communities and nonprofits that rely on Growing Greener funding have lost more than $30 million for critical projects and programs.
“As we look ahead to the future, we strongly urge the Governor and General Assembly to invest in a Growing Greener III program to ensure that Pennsylvanians continue to have access to clean drinking water, parks and trails, green open spaces, and locally grown farm fresh food.

Reminder Of What’s In The FY 2016-17 Budget For The Environment: Nothing Much
The budget numbers for DEP and DCNR are nothing more than a cost-to-carry existing programs.  The Senate did increase the Heritage Parks Program line-item to $2.8 million from the $2.25 million the House approved.  The budget bill also includes an increase in DCNR’s in-lieu of tax payments for State Forest land.

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, 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.

$1.3 Billion State Tax/Revenue Package Now Law
The $1.336 billion tax/revenue package-- House Bill 1198 (Barrar-R-Delaware) amending the Tax Code-- and Gov. Wolf signed it into law a short time later, authorizes a $5 million increase in the transfer of cigarette tax revenue to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Fund and creates a new Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit Program, but that’s it.

Independent Fiscal Office: Drilling Impact Fee Revenue Projected To Decline Thru 2018
The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday released a report on Act 13 drilling impact fees projecting a continued decline in revenue from the fees in 2016 in a variety of likely scenarios of between $5.4 million to $56.5 million.
The combination of low gas prices and fewer new wells producing is the cause of the decline, just like it was in 2015 fee collections.
The IFO concluded, “If these conditions hold, then drilling activity will likely remain subdued through 2018 and impact fee revenues will have limited opportunity for growth.”

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner