Please Ask Your Rep to Support These Budget Amendments

The House FY2015 budget released recently does not provide adequate funding for environmental programs. We are still down 12% from funding levels in place before the recession. Deep budget cuts in recent years have severely impacted the ability of environmental agencies to carry out their responsibilities. Just since 2008, the budgets of the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation have been cut by about 25% —a quarter of their funding has disappeared —  and many talented and hard working staff have left or been laid off.

To help four key amendments make it into the final House budget, we need you to contact your State Rep. to ask for his/her support during the budget debate (which starts April 28).

By Friday 4/25, please take action:

Please send one e-mail or make one phone call to your State Representative's office to ask him/her to support four amendments that will restore funding (the numbers are important as there are almost 1,200 amendments!):

Amendment #648: DCR State Parks & Recreation
Amendment #780: DCR Seasonal Staffing (beaches, pools)
Amendment #799: DEP Administration
Amendment #724: Climate Change Preparedness

Please note: If you call, you will likely speak with a staff person (who will be happy to convey your message).  If your Rep. already supports the amendments, please thank him or her!

Find out who your representatives are and how to contact them  here

Get Fact Sheet on DCR Budget 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 Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) staffing levels be increased. For every $1M DCR receives, it can hire 20 full-time employees.
      - Amendment 648 would increase funding by $3M.*
  • 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 pools and beaches. This line-item has still not been restored to its FY2010 level, forcing years of seasonal workforce reductions.  
       -Amendment 780 would increase funding by $2M.*
  • 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.  
       -Amendment 799 would increase funding by $5.3M.*
  • EEA Climate Change Preparedness: Reduce risks and promote resiliency with enhanced planning, improved data collection and coordination among the commonwealth's transportation, energy, and public health infrastructures and built environments.  Part of the $2 million in new spending would help us understand our vulnerability to severe storms and promote the use of natural infrastructure to reduce risks and promote resiliency.

*Compared to FY2014 funding level