Friday, May 3, 2019

State Budget Decisions Will Be Made Soon: New Funding Needed To Restore The Environment, Prevent Flooding, With No Backsliding

With final decisions on the state budget coming in the next few weeks, the Growing Greener Coalition has called on the Senate, House and Gov. Wolf to make new investments to restore the environment and prevent flooding and not to back away from funding commitments they have already made.
The Coalition urged the public to the contact their House and Senate member and Gov. Wolf to support new investments, with no backsliding.
"Pennsylvanians want to reduce destructive flooding, restore waterways to productive life, and protect our drinking water. We need to do this to protect public safety and health.
"We need to do this as a moral imperative and constitutional responsibility. And we need to do this because the investments made to restore and protect our waters produce long-term cost savings and economic returns that more than pay for the initial investments.
“The organizations and people of the Growing Greener Coalition urge the General Assembly and Governor Wolf to greatly boost the state’s investments in reducing flooding, restoring waterways, protecting drinking water, and providing other conservation benefits:
-- The Coalition reiterates that Pennsylvania can’t afford to backslide in its community and conservation investments. Every dollar flowing into the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund needs to be invested in projects that protect and restore Pennsylvania’s environmental assets, not diverted to pay for government operations.
-- The Coalition applauds the Governor’s attention to conservation investment needs in his Restore Pennsylvania proposal and encourages legislators to work with the Administration to make these investments happen.
“In building on past successes and boosting the state’s conservation investments, the General Assembly and Governor can achieve many lasting and diverse benefits for Pennsylvanians, including:
-- Major reductions in property damage and loss of human life caused by flooding
-- Progress for local governments in meeting MS4 [stormwater] requirements
-- State progress in meeting mandatory Chesapeake Bay [nutrient reduction] requirements
-- Safer drinking water and lower water treatment costs
-- More miles of streams restored for recreation and economic use
-- Federal investments leveraged that otherwise would not come to Pennsylvania
-- Boosts to the agricultural and outdoor recreation industries
-- Restoring parks for communities across the Commonwealth
-- And much more
“The public’s enthusiasm for these investments continues to be overwhelming. For example, 75 percent of Republican voters, 82 percent of Democrats, and 87 percent of independents actually support spending more on conservation, even if it would mean taxing themselves more to do it. (See survey results.)
The groups supporting new investment with no backsliding include--
-- Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA, Harry Campbell, PA Executive Director
-- Conservation Voters of PA, Joshua McNeil, Executive Director
-- Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, R. John Dawes, Executive Director
-- Lancaster Farmland Trust, Jeffrey Swinehart, Chief Operating Officer
-- Natural Lands, Oliver P. Bass, President
-- PennFuture (Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future), Jacquelyn Bonomo, President & CEO
-- Pennsylvania Environmental Council, John Walliser, Senior Vice President
-- Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, Andrew M. Loza, Executive Director
-- Pennsylvania Park and Forest Foundation, Marci Mowery, President
-- Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Tim Herd, CEO
-- Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, Tom Sexton, Director, Northeast Regional Office
-- Sierra Club PA Chapter, Joanne Kilgour, Chapter Director
-- The Conservation Fund, Kyle D. Shenk, PA State Director
-- The Nature Conservancy, PA Chapter, Ronald L. Ramsey, Senior Policy Advisor
-- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Cynthia Carrow, Vice President”
Click Here to read the Growing Greener Coalition’s letter to the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf.
Questions should be directed to Andy Loza, Executive Director, PA Land Trust Association by calling 717-230-8560 or send email to:
For more information, visit the Growing Greener Coalition website.
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