There are a number of disturbing discussions and moving issues among our state legislators that we must refute, educate and engage. While it is inconvenient just before the Labor Day weekend, we must act now to safeguard our current and future funding for parks, recreation and conservation.
REFUTE: Threats to C2P2 Grant Funding
The State House is again considering a raid on the special funds that are sources for the PA DCNR's C2P2 grants. This especially concerns the 384 grant applications submitted by municipalities and organizations for this year's Round 23 grant program.
One of the current revenue packages would not only raid the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund, the Keystone Fund and Farmland Preservation Fund for next year, but could also take funds away retroactively from grants already announced! This effort is being led by Rep. Moul (R-Adams). In other words, if you received a Growing Greener or Keystone grant, and that grant has not been 100 percent dispersed, the state could "take back" the remaining balance.
Contact your local Representatives and
to refute that tactic as a way to balance the state budget. These Funds are invested in dedicated purposes that have a highly significant economic return and must not be raided for such shortsighted means. Tell a compelling local story of irrefutable benefits from these funds.
EDUCATE: Opportunity with Severance Tax
A severance tax may be in play in the House. On Monday, September 11, the House Environmental Resource and Energy Committee (EREC) will be voting on Representative Harper's severance tax proposal. It is unclear whether the committee will be allowing amendments.
Harper's severance tax legislation imposes a 3.5 percent tax on top of the existing impact fee. This proposal dedicates the tax revenues to paying down the state's growing pension liabilities and to state police services in rural communities.
If the EREC is accepting amendments, we must get an amendment introduced that would allocate at least 25 percent of the tax revenues to the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund. If not, we will need to identify a few members of the General Assembly to offer amendments on the floor.
Currently, six of the 16 Republican members of the committee are co-sponsors of the GGIII framework legislation, and nine of the 10 Democrat members are co-sponsors. However, In order for a GG amendment to pass, we need a majority. Some, if not most, of the other Republican members are not favorable to our program.
Act: Contact the members of the EREC (listed below) and inform them of the legacy value their support of an amendment would be to allocate at least 25 percent of the tax revenues to the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund. Thank those who have already committed their support as a co-sponsor of the Growing Greener 3 legislation.
ENGAGE: Capitol Days September 11-12
Regardless of what the EREC is going to do, we will convene on the Capitol when the General Assembly returns to Harrisburg. There are too many issues currently at play for us not to be involved, and this would give us time to focus on the House, since the Senate does not return until the following week.
Make plans to visit your legislators in person on one or both of those days. Contact
, Executive Director of the Growing Greener Coalition to let him know of your plans and to assist, if needed, in scheduling visits.
Thank you for your commitment to Pennsylvania's future
by your actions today!
Tim Herd, CPRE
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee
consists of the following; those names underlined are those who are co-sponsors of the Growing Green 3 framework. Click
to access contact information.
* Maher, Chair (R- Allegheny, Washington)
Carroll, Minority Chair (D-Lackawanna, Luzerne)
* Ortitay (R-Allegheny, Washington)
* Bloom (R-Cumberland)
* Causer (R-Cameron, Mckean, Potter)
Everett (R-Lycoming, Union)
* Gabler (R-Clearfield, Elk)
James (R-Butler, Venango)
* Mackenzie (R-Berks, Lehigh)
Marshall (R-Beaver, Butler)
* Metzgar (R-Bedford, Somerset)
* Pyle (R-Armstrong, Butler, Indiana)
* Rapp (R-Crawford, Forest, Warren)
Sankey (R-Cambria, Clearfield)
* Tallman (R-Adams, Cumberland)
* Bullock (D-Philadelphia)
* Comitta (D-Chester)
* Deasy (D-Allegheny)
* Gergely (D-Allegheny)
* Harris (D-Philadelphia)
* Krueger Braneky (D-Delaware)
* McCarter (D-Montgomery)
* Newman (D-Washington)
* Snyder (D-Fayette, Greene, Washington)
* Warren (D-Bucks)