State Bond Package Passed

$15 Million Annually for Open Space Programs

Nov 01, 2007 4:29 AM - The Following email blast was distributed by the Nature Conservancy Connecticut L and Conservation Council on Wednesday, 31 October 2007

State Bond Package Passed

Yesterday, the General Assembly passed a bond package for FY's 08 and 09 that the Governor has indicated she will sign. The package cut about $400 million from the previous one that the Governor vetoed.

The package includes a total of $15 million annually in new authorizations for DEP's two open space programs - $7.5 million for the Open Space Matching Grants program, and $7.5 million for the Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust program that DEP uses to purchase additions to State Parks and Forests. The Governor had originally proposed a total of $20 million annually for the two programs; then the legislature's first budget back in April had cut them to $10 million - $5 million each. The Connecticut Land Conservation Council and the Face of Connecticut campaign then talked extensively with the leaders of the legislature's Bonding Subcommittee to increase those amounts to these final figures.

The Department of Agriculture's farmland preservation program received $5 million annually in new authorizations. This bonding is in addition to about $5 million for open space grants and $5 million for farmland that is coming in annually from the Community Investment Act that was passed two years ago. The package also contains close to $8 million in "earmarks" - funds designated for specific open space projects.

All of these authorizations are subject to approval by the Governor's Office, through the State Bond Commssion, before the funds can actually be spent, but the authorizations are a critical step in the process.

Please email your State Legislator and Governor Rell to thank them for including these authorizations.

ADDRESSES To find out who your legislators are, and how to contact them: go to www.cga.ct.gov; click on "House"; then click on "Find Your Legislator"; then scroll to your town and click on the House Districts next to it. If your town has more than one Representative, you'll see a map you can use to determine who represents your part of town. Just click on the district number and your representative's information will pop up. For Democrats, their contact info will be to the right of their name and picture; for Republicans there will be an email tag under the red "committee" rectangle near the top of the page. Do the same under "Senate" with "Find Your Legislator"; as soon as you click on the district number, contact info will pop up.

Governor M. Jodi Rell Executive Office of the Governor State Capitol 210 Capitol Avenue Hartford, Connecticut 06106 [email protected]

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