Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Executive Director Molly Parzen issued the following statement in response to the budget package that has passed the Pennsylvania legislature: 

Today is a banner day in the history of environmental protection in Pennsylvania, with lawmakers approving historic levels of spending for programs that will advance environmental conservation in our commonwealth. 

Governor Wolf and the state legislature took advantage of federal recovery dollars and historic surpluses to make critical investments in key conservation programs. These funds will reduce maintenance backlogs in our state parks, preserve farmland, improve the quality of our rivers and clean up abandoned mines. These investments through the Growing Greener program and the Clean Streams Fund, enjoy strong bipartisan support and will create good-paying local jobs, stimulate tourism, improve the health of Pennsylvania families and reduce the risk of flooding. 

At the same time, new investments in a Whole-Home Repairs Program will lower energy costs for working families and seniors — particularly in communities of color and low-income communities — while helping curb climate pollution and create jobs. 

And we secured needed funding increases for the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. While not all that is needed, these additional investments are a first step toward putting the environmental watchdog back on the beat and giving the state more resources to hold polluters accountable, protect our clean air and water and preserve our farmland, state parks and forests.