State Budget Action Alert – Contact your Rep today!

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The House Committee on Ways & Means released its budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15).   Tomorrow is the deadline for Representatives to file amendments. Later this month, the House will take the budget up for a vote, and then the Senate will go through the same process in May.

The House Ways & Means budget, unfortunately, does not provide adequate funding for environmental protection programs.

We’re part of the Mass. Environmental Collaborative, run by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and are working in coalition to encourage legislators to support several amendments that would make sure the agency that manages the Blue Hills has sufficient funds for the year.

Please take action:

BY NOON TOMORROW, please email or call your State Representative and ask him/her to contact the lead sponsor to sign on as a co-sponsor for the following top 3 budget amendments:

·        DCR State Parks & Recreation – Lead sponsor: Representative Anne Gobi

·        DCR Seasonal Staffing – Lead sponsor: Representative Bruce Ayers

·        DEP Administration – Lead sponsor: Representative David Rogers

Look up your Representative’s contact information here.

Background information:

DCR State Parks & Recreation: Severe budget cuts have led to closed and poorly maintained facilities.  In order to provide more quality outdoor experiences to Massachusetts residents and visitors, it is essential that DCR staffing levels be increased. For every $1M DCR receives, it can hire 20 full-time employees.  In FY2014, this line-item’s funding was 21% below the FY2008 amount, and as you can see from the table below, the House Ways & Means budget would cut DCR State Parks & Recreation by $1.7M.

DCR Seasonal Staffing: Seasonal staff play a significant role in supporting DCR’s parks operations and comprise a considerable portion of the staff needed to keep open critical recreational amenities such as swimming pools, campgrounds, and skating rinks. Since FY2009 this line-item has been cut approximately $3.2M (20%), forcing DCR to reduce its seasonal workforce.

DEP Administration: The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for implementing the Commonwealth’s environmental laws and protecting our air, water, land, and health from environmental threats. To support effective implementation of DEP’s core programs, it is vital to fully fund DEP’s operating account.

 

Agency Description Line # FY14 Final FY15 House Ways & Means Amendment Amount
DCR State Parks & Recreation 2810-0100

$   42,554,957

 $   40,846,881

 $ 45,554,957

DCR DCR Seasonal Staffing 2800-0501

$   12,651,578

 $   13,365,377

 $ 14,651,578

DEP Administration 2200-0100

$   28,354,269

 $   28,498,668

 $ 33,696,542

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