Over 100 organizations and businesses endorsed the Green Budget FY18, the largest coalition to date that has formed in Massachusetts to speak out about the importance of funding environmental agencies. Led by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), the Green Budget challenges Governor Baker to honor his campaign commitment to increase spending on environmental protection to 1% of the state budget by the end of his first term. The Governor’s first three budgets have added to the decline in state spending on environmental agencies, now at 0.5%. The budget process moves to the House and Senate.
Erica Mattison, ELM Legislative Director and principal author of the report, noted, “The parks, rivers, and coastline of Massachusetts are at risk if we keep cutting the budgets of the Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Conservation and Recreation (DCR).”
Tedd Saunders of the Saunders Hotel Group, a member of ELM’s Corporate Council and the Green Budget Coalition, made clear there is a very real connection between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. “Tourism is a $20 billion industry in Massachusetts. Clean energy has yielded over 100,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth, the fastest growing segment of our economy. And if we really want to help Gateway Cities, we need to clean up contaminated sites to allow for redevelopment.”
Groundwork Lawrence Community Engagement Director Rose Gonzalez and Almely Ramos, a Green Team Leader with Groundwork Lawrence and senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School, underscored the importance of having clean, well-maintained state parks and rivers available as outdoor recreation opportunities for urban residents.“Not everyone can afford to jet off to exotic destinations for vacation, and they depend on having affordable places close to home where they can enjoy the outdoors,” said Mattison.https://www.environmentalleague.org/our-work/publications/
If you are interested in reading the latest green budget, click here to visit the ELM website!