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Governor's 2020 Green Budget: A Very Long Way To Go- FAR from 1%

As many of you have seen, the Governor released his FY20 budget proposal earlier this month. There was a lot of good news. We saw increases in each of the four Green Budget priority line-items and in one instance, DEP administration, the Governor’s budget surpassed our recommendation! For those of you that were at the Gubernatorial Forum we hosted in October, you may recall that the Governor referenced the 1% commitment he had made as a candidate in 2014 and his disappointment that we had not made sufficient progress towards that goal. In follow up meetings with the Governor’s staff, we made the case for the Green Budget top priorities, along with our partners. Overall, the environmental budget increased by 6% from last year and our share of the overall state budget increased from 0.56% last year to 0.58% this year. We still have a way to go to reach 1% but this is good progress.

Our next steps will be to work with the House to protect these increases and continue to push for the Green Budget priorities. If you are interested in joining us to meet with legislators from your community or region, please be in touch. We also invite you to join us at the State House on Tuesday, February 26th at 10am for the Green Budget Kick-Off.

If you would like to be more involved in the budget, contact Casey Bowers, Legislative Director at the Environmental League of Massachussetts, at cbowers@environmentalleague.org or 781-771-5404. You can also still sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/ph9wyhUwNTyQnri82


Green budget priorities

Line Item Gov FY20 Green Budget FY19
2200-0100 DEP 31,500,033 31,000,000 29,130,000
2300-0101 DER 1,342,963 1,750,000 1,255,000
2810-0100 DCR 42,236,288 47,000,000 41,262,512 (with earmarks)
2800-0101 Watershed 1,123,447 1,500,000 1,110,915

Overall Environmental Agencies

FY 2019 GAA FY19 Projected Spending Gov 2020 Name
$41,834,425,573 $42,672,939,000 $43,174,340,717 Overall Budget (all categories)
$24,550,570 $26,126,000 $25,466,171 MDAR
$90,436,535 $95,865,000 $97,061,517 DCR
$57,539,138 $56,618,000 $60,795,346 DEP
$30,098,766 $32,057,000 $31,107,427 DFG
$33,339,371 $33,975,000 $36,390,137 EOEEA
$235,964,380 $244,641,000 $250,830,598 Total Environment
0.56% 0.57% 0.58% % Environmental

One other important change is that the DCR Retained Revenue line-item increased from $20M to $25.8M. However, in order for DCR to retain this amount, they will have to raise significantly more as they are allowed to keep only 80% of what they raise from fees, concessions, etc. We are monitoring this increase as DCR must be allowed to focus on maintaining and running state parks rather than collecting fees.

Another larger increase was for IT costs at EEA in the amount of $2M. Many other line-items received small increases, which contributed to the overall growth.

It should be noted that a few line items within DFG were decreased due to one-time FY19 costs. These include DFG Administration, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and Saltwater Sportfish Licensing. DCR saw some of the same within the Beach Preservation and Dam Regulatory Office line-items.

Beyond the line items, there is an outside section that would allow funds raised from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to be used for climate adaptation and GHG mitigation. RGGI funds are currently only used to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation, and demand response.

You can read the entire Green Budget report published by the Environmental League of Massachusetts here.

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