Governor Baker’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget: Update
Last week Governor Baker released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on July 1. We have reviewed the numbers and below is the breakdown of funding for environmental agencies. Just half a penny of every dollar in the state operating budget is going toward environmental programs. Our goal is 1% for the environment – one penny of every dollar.
As a candidate, Governor Baker committed to restoring environmental funding to 1% of the state budget. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go. At ELM, we constantly hear from people around the state who are concerned at the lack of investment. They tell us about parkways strewn with litter, closed campgrounds, state park trails that are not maintained, state forests that lack a staff presence, and more. We hear concerns about water quality and lack of enforcement of environmental protection laws. In recent years, agencies like the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have lost hundreds of staff, reducing their ability to carry out their missions.
With our largest Green Budget Coalition ever, we have the opportunity to speak with a powerful, unified voice about the need to invest in our environment. On February 14 we will release the Green Budget, which recommends funding levels for key environmental programs. We thank Pam Kohlberg for her generous support, enabling us to double match contributions. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
Legislators are about to select their top funding priorities. We’ll need your help to encourage your State Representative and Senator to include a Green Budget funding priority in their requests to leadership. Stay tuned!