By Anthony Lucivero, Advocacy Fellow

As you might have heard as the news broke last week, the Massachusetts House Ways & Means cut spending on environmental protection by 5%.  This is a big disappointment, as the total spending on the environment will continue to be less than 1% of the total MA budget.  

However, there is a slight silver-lining.  There were a number of amendments that saw increases in funding for certain environmental programs.  

The increases are (from the Environmental League of Massachusetts):

  • Climate Change Adaptation & Preparedness – increase of $150,000
  • Department of Agricultural Resources Administration – increase of $640,000
  • Department of Environmental Protection Administration – increase of $125,000
  • Division of Ecological Restoration – increase of $75,000
  • DCR State Parks and Recreation – increase of $2.1 million
  • Community Preservation Act: received a $10M transfer from the FY2016 Consolidated Net Surplus 
  • Established a farmland protection advisory commission
  • Statewide habitat conservation plan – increase of $100,000

So what can we do going forward?  As a community, we need to keep the pressure up to let legislators know we want more than the bare minimum for environmental protection spending.

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