[CT Birds] Open Space FundingEMERGENCY - Call your State Representative in the next two hours from 1 PM on Wed.

Mardi W. Dickinson mardi1 at optonline.net
Wed Jun 3 14:46:19 EDT 2009

Thanks Patrick,

I contacted by phone and email our State Rep for Norwalk right after  
you posted this.
Hope others can help too.

Chris Perone is the State Representative for Norwalk
At the Capitol:
Legislative Office Building, Room 4004
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
860-240-8585, 800-842-8267
Email - Chris.Perone at cga.ct.gov

Mardi Dickinson
Norwalk, CT

On Jun 3, 2009, at 1:07 PM, COMINS, Patrick wrote:

> With all of the recent talk of limited funds and political will for  
> open space protection in Connecticut, I thought you might want to  
> hear about an opportunity to make a difference on an issue critical  
> to funding for open space protection in Connecticut.  This could be  
> the only source of open space funding from the State for the next  
> year and it is critical that this bill passes:
> Thank you!
> Please Call your State Representative NOW
> Urge them to pass Bill 891, with an expanded Community Investment  
> Act. Help preserve open space funds
> Last night, the Connecticut Senate unanimously passed an amendment  
> on Bill 891, which would expand the Community Investment Act for two  
> years by increasing the fee that funds it and directing most of the  
> additional revenues to a relief program for diary farmers. The DEP's  
> Open Space Matching Grants program would get an estimated $500,000  
> additionally each year, as would historic preservation and housing  
> programs.
> Unfortunately, there may be a problem having the bill brought up for  
> a vote in the House of Representatives today. Please use the  
> information below to call your State Representative NOW. You'll  
> probably get an aide or voicemail but that's OK; just leave a one  
> sentence message: "Please pass Bill 891, with an expanded Community  
> Investment Act Today"
> If you know who your State Representative is:
> Go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/hlist.asp   Then scroll down to  
> your legislator, and click on the gold ball two columns to the  
> right. Their webpage will come up, click on "contact me" and you'll  
> see their Capitol phone number.
> If you don't know who your State Representative is:
> Go to: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp   Type in your  
> address; and "submit"; you'll see the address boxes come up blank,  
> but scroll down and click the gold box next to your State  
> Representative who will be listed. Their webpage will come up, click  
> on "contact me" and you'll see their Capitol phone number.
> Background
> Community Investment Act (CIA): This program generates about $20  
> million in revenues annually, from surcharges on real estate  
> document fees, that is divided in quarters between DEP's open space  
> matching grants program, farmland preservation programs, historic  
> preservation programs, and affordable housing programs. The open  
> space portion supplements the bonding the matching grants program  
> receives. The CIA funding is critical both for the dollars it  
> provides and because, unlike bonding, it does not have to be  
> approved by the State Bond Commission before it can be spent.
> The New Proposal Amended on to Bill 891: The proposal the Senate  
> passed last night will, for a two-year period, increase the  
> surcharge on real estate document recording. As under the current  
> surcharge, ten percent of the funds will go to Town Clerks for  
> administering the program and to the Local Capital Investment  
> Program. Ninety percent of the funds will go into the "Community  
> Investment Fund", sixty percent of which will be split evenly  
> between the DEP's Open Space Matching Grants program, the Commission  
> on Culture and Tourism's Historic Preservation programs, and the  
> Connecticut Housing Finance Authority for affordable housing  
> projects; and forty percent of which will go towards agricultural  
> viability programs and a new dairy relief program. After two years,  
> the program will revert to its current fee level and revenue  
> distribution.
> This new  legislation will 1) provide desperately needed funds for  
> the dairy industry, 2) reduce (but not eliminate) the chances of the  
> CIA being "raided" in the upcoming biennial budget negotiations; and  
> 3) provide about $500,000 more for each of the open space, historic  
> preservation, and affordable housing programs.
> Thanks so much!
> Sandy
> Director of Governmental Affairs
> Audubon Connecticut
> 185 East Flat Hill Road
> Southbury, CT 06488
> (203) 264-5098 x307 phone
> (203) 264-6332 fax
> (203) 804-0488 cell
> Patrick
> Patrick M. Comins
> Director of Bird Conservation
> Audubon Connecticut
> pcomins at audubon.org
> http://iba.audubon.org/iba/viewState.do?state=US-CT
> Audubon Center at Bent of the River
> 185 East Flat Hill Road
> Southbury,  CT 06488
> Phone:  (203)264-5098 x305
> or 203-267-6732 x305
> Fax: (203)264-6332
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