Action Alert –Budget Negotiations Eye Environmental and Recreation Cuts

Action Alert – Budget Negotiations Eye Environmental and Recreation Cuts

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will be returning to Harrisburg this weekend to try and advance legislation to finalize the state budget. Earlier this month, the General Assembly and Governor agreed to an overall budget spending number, but did not agree on how to pay for it. That is what is being negotiated now in Harrisburg.

 

One of the options being considered by legislators is to divert money from dedicated conservation and recreation funds – like the Environmental Stewardship Fund (also known as Growing Greener) and the Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund – and use those monies for general state operations. These are the funds used by communities across the Commonwealth to clean up polluted waterways, revitalize older towns, build trails and parks, and preserve agricultural lands. These funds leverage tremendous private investment by almost a two-to-one margin, drive economic growth, and improve quality of life for PennsylvaniansThey must be protected.

 

While we recognize the current budget situation faced by the Commonwealth, these budget challenges will not be solved by cutting investments in Pennsylvania’s future. Diverting special funds only temporarily postpones the need to address deeper budget issues, while hurting communities and our environment in both the short and long term.

 

PEC opposes diverting these funds from their intended purpose, and we urge you to contact your representatives and let them know that you want these funds protected too.

A copy of the letter PEC has sent to members of the General Assembly can be found here.

We are also concerned that riders will be attached to budget legislation that will seek to undo important environmental protections. PEC will continue to monitor this legislation – you can follow us on Twitter (@pecpa and@pecpolicy) for updates.