Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society
Statement on the Governor's Proposed 2019-20 Budget
The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) opposes Governor Wolf's proposal to divert tens of millions of dollars of dedicated state funding for park and recreation projects in order to fund general governmental operations. General government operations have been traditionally-and properly-paid for out of the General Fund budget.
PRPS is the principal statewide association providing professional development, leadership, advocacy and resources for those working and volunteering in the parks and recreation field. We are an active and longstanding member of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition that has advocated for and defended dedicated funding for park and recreation projects. Polling has shown that this dedicated funding is consistently and overwhelmingly popular with the citizens of the Commonwealth.
The General Assembly created the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Keystone Fund) and the Environmental Stewardship Fund to provide a consistent, dedicated stream of income for a wide range of conservation and environmental purposes. The General Assembly and previous governors also supported dedicated revenue streams for these projects, so that project funding was long-term, consistent, and not held hostage to the whims of the annual debate over the General Fund budget.
The Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund monies are often used to fund multi-year projects such as the construction of park and trail projects. These projects generally have matching funds from local governments and a wide range of partners in the local community.
Every dollar in state grants leverages at least one dollar in local matching investments, and often more. By diverting funds from these programs and multiyear projects, the Commonwealth would be retreating from its commitment to our communities and setting a dangerous precedent.
Budget proposals reflect many things, but they are fundamentally about priorities. We urge the General Assembly to maintain its previous commitment to dedicated funding for these important park and recreation projects, and to properly fund government operations out of the General Fund budget.
This Thursday, February 14, the PA House of Representatives will conduct Budget Hearings for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Calls to Action:
1. Call or email your Representative and Senator NOW to urge them to OPPOSE the proposal to
transfer funds from the dedicated funds for governmental operations.
Click here to find your legislator.
for sample letters you may personalize.
2. Take to your social media channels to spread the message that these funds must remain protected for their dedicated purposes. Tag your legislators; use the hashtag #PABudget.
Thank you for your dedicated commitment!