Governor’s Office Announces Transfer Of $45 Million To Augment DEP, DCNR Budgets - Not New Money

On November 16, the Governor’s Office of the Budget published notice in the PA Bulletin announcing the transfer of $45 million from 5 non-environmental special funds to “augment” the budgets for the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.

These funds do not represent new money.  They attempt to restore some of the money cut from environmental programs in the FY 2019-20 budget shuffles.

The transfers were authorized by a provision in the Fiscal Code bill passed by the General Assembly in June giving the Governor authority to make transfers from special funds under his jurisdiction of up to $45 million.

The transfers are coming from--

Banking Fund                          $21,000,000

Volunteer Companies Loan Fund              $  5,000,000

Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund           $10,000,000

Persian Gulf Veterans Compensation Bond Fund   $ 1,898,000

Insurance Regulation and Oversight Fund         $ 7,102,000

TOTAL                                 $45,000,000

There as no further information in the notice on how much funding was provided to each agency or what it would be used for.  An announcement is expected in the future on the use of the funding.

The provision in the Fiscal Code bill (page 68) says the money could be used “... to augment the operations of the Department of Environmental Protection or the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.”  No further guidance was provided.

Some have said this provision was meant to take some of the sting out of the loss of money to DEP and DCNR as a result of a variety of transfers made in other parts of the budget out of the Environmental Stewardship ($16.045 million) and Recycling ($10 million) funds to pay for the day-to-day operating costs and a loss of $20 million to the ESF Fund due to monies not being transferred from the Marcellus Legacy Fund.

It does not make up for the unconstitutional transfer-- again-- of monies from DCNR’s Oil and Gas Lease Fund of $69.774 million to pay for DCNR’s operating expenses and $15 million going from the OGLF to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

Did you follow all that?


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[Posted: November 15, 2019]


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