[CT Birds] Emergency Alert: Critical Open Space (AKA bird habitat) and Farm Funding Under Attack

COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Tue Dec 8 17:36:42 EST 2009

Dear CT Birders,

Apologies for sending this with such late notice, but we need your help! Please take a moment this evening or tomorrow to contact your state lawmakers to help protect dedicated funding for open space! Information on how to find your legislators is at the end of this alert.

If you can find time on such late notice you can also come to a Public Hearing Wednesday, December 9th!

Audubon Connecticut is asking all our supporters to participate in a GRASS ROOTS CALL IN (email also OK) to members of the CT General Assembly on Monday 12/7 & Tuesday 12/8 urging them to oppose the Governor's latest budget mitigation proposal to redirect $4.7 million from the Community Investment Account (CIA) into the General Fund.  The CIA generates critical funding for DEP's Open Space Matching Grants Program and for state programs for farmland, historic preservation and affordable housing.
Audubon also invites you to testify at a PUBLIC HEARING of the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday 12/9, 2:00 p.m., Room 2C of Legislative Office Bldg.  [See below for details. You do not have to write anything in order to testify.]

PLEASE HELP - - WE NEED EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION on Monday or Tuesday.  The legislature will be meeting December 15th, (leadership is meeting now) to determine whether to adopt the Governor's proposals. If this CIA funding is diverted, it is very likely that future funds will be PERMANENTLY diverted, effectively ending the program. Talking points, hearing details and contact info follow below.  As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!
Thank you,
Sandy Breslin
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

- The grant programs funded by the Community Investment Act create jobs and the types of communities that we need to attract and retain businesses and workers.
- CIA provides a critical match for town funds to help our communities respond to unique land opportunities in this real estate market. The slowdown in the real estate market gives towns the opportunities to acquire critical open space and farm lands, if they have the funds to make the purchases.
- The Community Investment Act is NOT funded by taxes, but by fees that property owners pay with the understanding that they will go towards these grant funds that help their communities protect open space, farmland, and historic neighborhoods, and build housing.
For a brochure on the CIA: http://www.ct.gov/doag/lib/doag/pdf/pa228printe dversion.pdf

YOU CAN CALL OR EMAIL A BRIEF MESSAGE.  It does not need to be long - - just state in the subject line and first sentence that you want them to support funding for the Community Investment Act.

The Public Hearing will start at 2:00 PM. Get to the Legislative Office Building as early as you can to sign up (OPM Secretary Genuario will be testifying starting at 11:00) and watch the scene at the Capitol for a day! You can also contact Appropriations Committee staff directly for details about time for sign-up: 860-240-0390. Bring 50 copies of testimony to submit at time of sign-in. PLEASE NOTE: You DO NOT have to submit written testimony to testify.  Your testimony can be very brief - just get up, identify yourself, and say you came all the way to Hartford because you think the Community Investment Act will help our communities and our economy.  If you are not able to attend the public hearing but would like to submit written testimony, just send it to Sandy Breslin at sbreslin at audubon.org no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday 12/8 and we will deliver copies on your behalf.
FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp
HOUSE DEMOCRATS:  860-240-8500
SENATE DEMOCRATS: 860-240-8600

Thank you!


Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
Audubon Connecticut
pcomins at audubon.org


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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