Pennsylvania passes $625 mln bond for environmental restoration, conservation

PennFuture hails passage of Growing Greener II Bond question; legislature's action means voters will decide in May on final authorization of $625 million investment to ensure water quality, watershed preservation...

HARRISBURG, PA, April 13, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) congratulates the Governor and the members of the Senate and House of Representatives for passage of the authorization for a $625 million bond for environmental restoration and conservation projects.

The General Assembly's passage of the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection Act ensures that a question will appear on the May primary ballot asking voter approval of the $625 million bond. PennFuture urges a "yes" vote and will work with other conservation and sporting groups to achieve passage of the bond question.

"This is a responsible, modest investment of desperately needed funding to address pressing conservation and restoration needs," said John Hanger, PennFuture's president and CEO. "It was a long time coming. We congratulate the Governor for proposing the $800 million Growing Greener II program about a year and a half ago and making it one of his highest priorities, and we thank the Republican leadership for their willingness to meet the Governor more than halfway. We also appreciate the solid and consistent Democratic support for this measure. This victory belongs to all of us, but most importantly it belongs to our children and grandchildren."

If approved by the voters in May, the Growing Greener bond will provide much-needed funding for the conservation of open space and farmland, the clean up of land and water polluted by mining, stream restoration and watershed protection projects, investment in Pennsylvania's state parks and other environmental initiatives.

PennFuture (www.pennfuture.org) is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy. The agency's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens in public advocacy. Its offices are located in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

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