Wednesday, September 13, 2017

House Republicans Propose To Take Over $317 Million From Environmental Funds, STILL The Largest Cut In Environmental Funding In PA’s History

A revised amendment to be offered Wednesday to House Bill 593 (Thomas-D-Philadelphia) would transfer over $317 million out of environmental and energy special funds to the General Fund to help balance the state’s budget.
The proposal would transfer a total of $630.5 million from special funds, which means environmental transfers make up more than half of the total transfers.
A previous version would have transferred over $453 million out of a total of $1.2 billion.
There is no natural gas severance tax in the proposal.
While all the details are not yet available, here are the cuts and transfers identified so far--
-- Recycling Fund - $70 million (was $75 million)
-- Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund - $70 million (was $72.7 million)
-- Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund - $50 million (was $100 million)
-- Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund - $100 million (same)
-- County Conservation District Fund - $2.5 million (was $3.33 million)
-- Industrial Sites Cleanup Fund - $10 million (same)
-- Industrial Sites Environmental Assessment Fund - $7.5 million (same)
-- Energy Development Fund - $3.96 million (was $3.94 million)
-- Environmental Education Fund - $500,000 (was $1.285 million)
-- Coal Lands Improvement Fund - $2 million (was $2.769 million)
-- Highway Beautification Fund - $500,000 (same)
-- Solid Waste-Resource Recovery Development Fund - $448,000 (same)
-- Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund - No transfer (was $27 million)
-- Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund - No transfer (was $50 million)
These cuts will have the same impact of the previous cuts-- existing, approved grants and contracts may not get paid and any new grants and contracts from these sources of funding is in jeopardy.
Programs helping farmers comply with pollution reduction requirements through county conservation districts will have to be cut back.
The remainder of the package includes--
-- Tobacco Settlement Fund monetization $1 billion (was $1.3 billion)
-- Gaming Expansion - $225 million
-- Additional Liquor Control Board Transfer - $50 million
-- Joint Underwriting Association Transfer - $200 million
Click Here for a list of all special fund transfers.  Click Here for General Fund Financial Statement.
Click Here to watch the floor debate.
Stay tuned for more details.

1 comment :

  1. At a time when we should be doing everything we can to protect our environment, Pennsylvania is considering making the biggest cuts to environmental funds in our history. This will inevitably end up costing Pennsyvanians billions of dollars in environmental disaster clean-ups. This will be one of the biggest political miscalculations in the history of the commomwealth. It is short-sited and ignoranty thinking. Wake up legislators!!!


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