Urgent: Save Environmental Budget
Urgent Action Needed to Save Environmental Budget
PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!
The House debates the budget next week, starting April 25th.
What you can do-
Contact your state representative by Friday and let him or her know that you care by asking for their support of amendments to increase funding to these vital environmental agencies!
From Mass Audubon:
The Massachusetts House Committee on Ways & Means has released its Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal. If cuts made to the Departments of Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, and Division of Ecological Restoration/Riverways stand, we can expect additional significant layoffs (DEP has already lost a third of their staff), fewer inspections and oversight, and drastically reduced technical assistance to towns and municipalities as well as much less protection for wildlife and rare species.
- The Commonwealth invests less than a penny on the dollar for environmental programs - or 0.58% of the state budget.
- Over the past four years, funding for environmental agencies has been cut by almost 25%!
- The Department of Environmental Protection has lost 325 staff since FY04 (peak of 1,215) and has seen an 18.6% drop in funding over the past two final budgets. They stand to lose 70 staff more and close one regional office.
- The Department of Conservation and Recreation has lost 170 positions, or 18% of its staff, and has seen a 25% drop in funding since FY09. According to a Beacon Hill Institute Report, we spend less than half the national average on parks and recreation - or $62.90 per person compared to the national average of $138.72.
Clean air, water, parks, and endangered species need you – contact your state representative by Friday and let him or her know that you care by asking for their support of the following amendments to increase funding to these vital environmental agencies!
If you know your representative's name, you can just call the House switchboard and be put through: 617-722-2000. If not, locate the name and contact information of your state representative by visiting:
- http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php (Note: look for "Rep. In General Court"); or,
* Give your name and town.
* Ask to speak to the Representative. If he or she is not available, ask to speak to a staff member. You can also send an email.
*Encourage them to sign on as cosponsors to the above House budget amendments and to talk to House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey. Tell them you support these amendments and would like to see them accepted into the final House Budget. These amendments would restore vital funding to some of Massachusetts' most valuable environmental services. Also let them know you oppose amendment #143 which would gut endangered species protection.
THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION!