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New York State Parks Budget 2014
March 31, 2014: State Parks Get $90 million capital funding!
Over the weekend, the Governor, Senate, and Assembly agreed to a a budget package for 2014-15. The agreement grows the EPF to $162 million. While the appropriation is not the $200 million that we were advocating, it does add $9 million over last fiscal year.
In addition to funding for the EPF, the budget included NY Works funding of $40 million for DEC and $90 million for OPRHP, continuing programs to address capital backlogs at those agencies, including a new recreational access initiative by DEC to open more than 50 state sites for public recreation, hunting and fishing.
March 17, 2014: State Senate Rejects Parks Capital Budget Plan
Despite a strong advocacy day, a well-demonstrated need, and a successful program, the New York State Senate’s one-house spending plan passed last week, slashed $92.5 million from the state parks capital budget. This is the entire proposed capital parks budget. Without question, members of the Senate are failing to stand up for the needs of state parks.
This action is alarming and requires a strong and immediate response from the parks community in order to ensure the final budget agreement includes the full $92.5 million in capital funds called for in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget and endorsed in the Assembly plan.
For the past two years both house of the legislature voted to support the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation’s capital improvement program.
This year, the Senate turned their backs on parks, citing a lack of an explicit agency spending plan. This decision is unacceptable. We must keep state parks from being used as a pawn in an intergovernmental squabble .State parks, having been allowed to fall into disrepair and failure over the past decades, deserve better.
If you visit parks, if you Love parks, please contact your representative in the New York State Senate and urge him or her to support the full $92.5 million in funding provided in this year’s executive budget.
Find your senator and contact info by clicking here: http://www.nysenate.gov/contact_form
Please also call Senate Majority Coalition Leader Senator Dean Skelos at (518) 455-3171 and Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein at (518)455-3595.
Please also reach out to and submit letters to the editor in support of parks capital investment. And while we are at it, we should all be thanking the governor and members of the Assembly for the continuing demonstration of support of our state parks.
We have come too far toward rebuilding our state’s great park system to be turned away now. We need to remind all our state representatives that parks matter and that we, people who use our parks, remember the dark days of park closure threats and are prepared to stand up and fight for our state parks.
Issue Updates :
March 17, 2014: State Senate cuts capital budget from Governor's park proposal.