September 7, 2023
Via U.S. mail and email
House of Representatives Chamber
1 State Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Governor Josh Shapiro
Room 225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
RE: Clean Streams Funding 2023/2024
Governor Shapiro and Members of the PA House of Representatives:
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) opposes House Bill 1300 as currently written, which proposes to transfer $150 million in funding from the Pennsylvania Game Commission to the Clean Streams Fund for fiscal year 2023-24.
While substantial, consistent, and sustainable funding for the Clean Streams Fund is a priority for PennFuture and our coalition partners, this should not come at the expense of other important conservation programs. If carried out, HB 1300 would simply play a shell game with state investments in environmental protection by moving conservation dollars from one program to another and calling it new funding.
We must carefully consider available options to secure long-term sustainable funding for the Clean Streams Fund. For the legislature to come in with this last minute proposal that does more harm than good is inappropriate and a disservice to the broad public and bipartisan support the Clean Streams Fund is endowed with.
As trustees of our public natural resources under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we expect better from our elected officials. We urge Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania legislators to convene department resource managers and the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to investigate truly sustainable sources for the Clean Streams Fund.
While both the Game Commission and Clean Streams Fund provide critical investments in our clean water, they are not the same and serve adjacent, important roles within a statewide clean water strategy.
We should be fully funding these programs and agencies to protect all of the Commonwealth’s public natural resources, and not taking from one to pay for the other. We call on our elected leaders to take a more thoughtful, measured approach to developing a revenue strategy to sustain these programs for current and future generations.The first step in doing so is rejecting HB 1300 as currently written.
Director of Government Affairs
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)