The addition of a beautiful 435-acre parcel (photo) along the Southern Gunks Greenway to Huckleberry State Forest depends upon funding for land preservation in New York's EPF.
New York State Budget 2013-14: Enhance the Environmental Protection Fund to Expand Economic and Environmental Benefits
The Friends of New York’s Environment is a partnership of more than 100 environmental, public health, agricultural, recreational and urban groups that supports the Environmental Protection Fund. The Trail Conference is a member of the coalition.
April 1, 2013: SUCCESS! Time to Thank Our Officials.
The final budget adopted by the Senate, Assembly, and Governor increases the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for the first time in 5 years, to $153 million. The EPF pays for programs that protect open space and parks, enhance trails,support local recycling programs, and more. The adopted budget also increases provides $90 million for infrastructure improvements at state parks and historic sites in every region of the state, providing an infusion of capital for the second year in a row. Thanks to all who supported the EPF and our Parks this year!
Please take a moment to thank the Governor, your State Senator and Assemblymember for supporting state parks by including $90 million for critical infrastructure needs and enhancing the EPF in the final budget.
March 13, 2013: Good News for the EPF from both houses of the legislature. Especially encouraging is that all three budget proposals--by the Executive, the Senate and the Assembly–include an increased appropriation for the EPF. Click here to read STATEMENT FROM THE FRIENDS OF NEW YORK'S ENVIRONMENT. It's a good time to thank the Governor and representatives for their continued support. Click here to find contact info.
Also: Related to the EPF is an expanded Bottle Bill. Click here to read our coalition's statement on proposed Bottle Bill changes.
January 23, 2013: Governor Cuomo's budget proposal, outlined yesterday, includes GOOD NEWS for the EPF! The Governor proposed a $153 million EPF appropriation, representing a $19 million increase over the current fiscal year! The Governor highlighted the EPF in his budget presentation. This progress is thanks to hard work over the last few years as part of a broad campaign to raise the profile of the EPF and underscore its economic importance. The increase will be funded with revenue from the state’s Bottle Bill, through a combination of existing revenue ($15M), and new revenue generated by proposed enforcement and other technical changes to the law ($4M). The bulk of EPF funding will continue to be financed by funds from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.
December 18, 2012: Governor Cuomo vetoed EPF enhancement legislation (see below). As part of the veto message the Governor says, “I am committed to finding additional ways to strengthen the EPF, and will work with the Legislature to do so.” After discussing the need to make these decisions as part of the budget, he states “I am constrained to disapprove this bill.” So, our work must continue in the coming days and weeks to make the most of this commitment. Stay tuned.
December 10, 2012:
Last week, the EPF enhancement legislation (A. 10519 Sweeney/S. 7525 Grisanti) was delivered by the Assembly to the Governor for consideration. This started a 10-day “clock” for the Governor to sign or veto the bill. The bill will phase $56 million of revenue from the state’s Bottle Bill into the EPF over six years.
New York collects more than $100 million from unclaimed bottle deposits every year. [Alert info deleted Dec. 19.]