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Governor Patrick's preamble to the Environmental Bond
added to website February 4, 2008

"To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives: I am filing for your consideration a bill entitled "The Land, Parks, and Clean Energy Act of 2008". This legislation authorizes the Commonwealth to issue $1.4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund the Commonwealth's energy and environmental capital needs over the next five years. Of this $1.4 billion authorization, $355 million is dedicated to land protection and acquisition and $738.5 million to enhance state parks and rebuild OCR-owned infrastructure. This legislation also includes authorization for new programs to address climate change, comprehensive wildlife protection, and other emerging environmental challenges."

"The quality of our environment has a significant impact on our own health and on the quality of our lives. For ourselves and future generations, we have a responsibility to provide well-maintained and accessible parks and recreational facilities, and to preserve our valuable open spaces, farms and natural habitats. This includes doing our part to transition to a clean energy economy. State capital investments are necessary for maintaining a high standard for environmental protection and quality. Capital funds pay for important environmental protection projects, including land conservation, pollution remediation, dam rehabilitation, flood control, and water quality."

"The $1.4 billion capital investment funding authorization sought by the Patrick-Murray Administration in this bond bill is fiscally responsible. The amount of the bond bill is based on the Administration's five-year capital investment plan and related debt affordability analysis published in August. The authorization sought covers the estimated five-year spending amount and provides a reasonable level of flexibility to fund additional spending for environmental assets in the event that the Administration determines that the financial capacity exists to increase the state's investment in our environment over the five-year period covered by the bond bill."

"In light of the urgent need to begin to reverse decades of underinvestment in our environmental assets, I respectfully request that you take prompt action to enact this bill."

Respectfully submitted,
Deval L. Patrick, Governor