Budgets and staffing levels at the state agencies that regulate our drinking water, pollution discharges and wetlands, as well as those that manage our state parks have been in steady substantial decline over the last decade.
Just last year, our state’s environmental regulatory agency (MassDEP) and our state parks agency (DCR) had their staff reduced by an additional 15%. We have seen first hand that this has left many of the dedicated state employees with whom we work demoralized, as they are spread thinner every year, and left without a hope of addressing the important duties they are charged to carry out.
As recent events in Flint, Michigan remind us, there can be serious consequences when environmental agencies fail to do their jobs.
With that as the backdrop, Governor Baker has just unveiled his budget proposal for the state’s coming fiscal year, which calls for cutting state environmental agency budgets by another $16 million or 7% over last year.
Your State Representative Needs to Hear from You!
It’s critical for you to contact your state representative ASAP and tell them that the agencies who protect our water, our health, natural resources and our parks need adequate funding to do their jobs. Just a few phone calls can change the direction of the state budget debate.
Will you take a moment to call before February 12? The message is simple and quick:
“Hello. I live in your district and I’m calling to ask you to support the Environmental League’s Green Budget funding recommendations. I think it’s important that we protect our water and wetlands, and do a better job maintaining our parks. Please consider selecting a Green Budget line-item to include in your budget request to House Leadership. Thank you!”
Please take a moment to let us know what, if any feedback you get from the call with a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NepRWA is pleased to be an endorser of the Fiscal Year 2017 Green Budget, produced by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). Your State Representative has already received a copy of the Green Budget and should know what it is.
If you would like to learn more about the Green Budget you can start by checking out ELM’s Fact Sheet on Clean and Abundant Water or their Fact Sheet on Great Parks or for a deeper dive you can find much more on the green budget page at ELM’s website.