For Immediate Release: September 5, 2017
Coalition Statement on ‘Taxpayer Caucus’ Budget Proposal
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, today issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to the ‘Taxpayer Caucus’ budget proposal.
“Today, a handful of Republican House members presented a revenue proposal that relies heavily on special fund transfers, including transfers from Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund, the Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund and the Agriculture Conservation Easement Fund. Each of these funds provide critical investments in local communities in order to address a growing list of conservation, recreation and preservation challenges facing the state.
By raiding these accounts, this group of legislators discount the critical work being accomplished and the jobs these projects produce. These are not just numbers on a page – these are real Pennsylvanians who will be affected. These funds go towards protecting our water, building our community parks and trails, maintaining our state parks and forests, protecting our family farms, promoting our state’s heritage and tourism, and much more.
It is unclear, at this time, just how many Pennsylvania businesses and communities will be affected if this proposal is accepted.
It is also unclear whether the proposal would target previously dedicated funds for state and local parks, farm and open space conservation, environmental protection and other community projects. Many of the account balances referenced by the House members include funds obligated to projects, but not yet dispersed.
This proposal misses the mark of addressing the real budget issues facing the state.”
In addition to the statement released today, the Coalition distributed a sign-on letter to House members last week urging them to reject environmental special fund transfers. The letter garnered the support of more than 125 organization and community leaders, along with 34 County Commissioners. A copy of the letter can be found on the Coalition website at: https://pagrowinggreener.org/2803-2/