The Friends of the Blue Hills is part of a statewide coalition of environmental groups called the Environmental Collaborative, facilitated by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. As part of this coalition, we advocate for statewide policies that help the Blue Hills, such as increased funding for environmental agencies. We are particularly interested in making sure the agency that manages the Blue Hills (the Department of Conservation and Recreation) has adequate funding.
While there was an overall increase for environmental programs, the Department of Conservation and Recreation is still funded below the level it was funded before the recession in FY2009.
We’ve included an excerpt from the Coalition’s report below. (See here for the full report.)
This week the Conference Committee appointed to generate a consensus budget between the House and Senate versions of the budget released its report, a $36.5B state budget. The House and Senate both approved the budget, which now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The budget provides $219.9M for environmental programs (a $16.1M increase over the FY14 funding level of $203.7M). This 7% increase for environmental programs over last year’s budget is largely a maintenance budget that will enable programs to continue. Massachusetts is still falling short of our goal of 1% for the environment. The FY15 budget allocates just 0.6% of the state budget for environmental programs – status quo with FY13 and FY14.