The Open Space ballot question approved by voters on November 4th re-directed funds from Water, Site Remediation, and Parks in DEP to open space projects. But what will happen to those programs losing funds?
This ballot question was approved by voters on Nov. 4th and enabling legislation will be required to implement the funding. The diversion of funds does not take effect immediately but we are acting quickly to assess the impact and determine solutions.
CWA 1036 and environmental advocate allies are contacting legislators who support restoration of funding to DEP programs. This is good news – the problem is recognized and there are some key legislators involved prepared to seek a fix. Our Local is a part of the effort to assess the impact on existing DEP programs of CBT re-direction to open space and develop strategies to backfill that funding. We also know the Administration is concerned about funding loss and is working on solutions. We share that goal.
- Enabling legislation will be required to apportion the monies and re-dedicate the CBT diversion. As a Local, we will provide input, as do other groups, and will exercise it to make sure there is a voice for using money for the staff/program to support open space.
- There is definitely an effort to restore funding to the DEP programs that will see reduced CBT funding. This may require a mix of different funding solutions.
- CWA 1036 will continue to be a loud voice to restore funding to DEP programs losing CBT support. We are working with potential community, environmental, and legislative supporters NOW, not waiting.
- The intent of the open space move should not cause a reduction in staffing in any programs.
We will share more information about how YOU can support this effort as things develop in the coming weeks.