COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Mar 26 15:55:26 EDT 2010

Dear CT Birders:
            I apologize for 2 messages in one day, but this important matter just came across the inbox.  This is one of the few remaining sources of open space funding.   If this funding is removed there will be little prospect for additional protected lands in the near future.  This is a dedicated funding source that will be raided rather than a reduction in the general fund allocations for open space.

Thank you!


From: BRESLIN, Sandy
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 3:43 PM
To: Audubon Advocates


A proposal drafted yesterday by the Connecticut Senate Democrats to address the state's FY10 budget deficit has proposed to divert $5 million from the Community Investment Act (CIA), which provides critical funding for town open space grants. In fact, CIA is the only source of state open space funding expected this year! The Senate may be voting on this plan as soon as tonight. Please call the Senate Democratic offices at (860) 240-8600 or (800) 842-1420 IMMEDIATELY to urge them to keep the CIA intact.

If you have another minute, PLEASE CALL YOUR OWN STATE SENATOR using the information below.

The Community Investment Act (CIA), established in 2005, uses a surcharge on real estate document recording fees to generate $15 - 20 million per year that is split between four state programs: 1) the DEP's Open Space Matching Grants program, 2) the Department of Agriculture's farmland preservation and viability programs, 3) historic preservation programs at the Commission on Culture and Tourism, and 4) affordable housing initiatives at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. The revenues that fund the CIA are not taxes, they are fees that people pay with the understanding that they are going to these specific programs.

The open space portion of the CIA funds supplements bond monies for the DEP's Municipal Open Space and Watershed Matching Grants program. Since state bonding is currently so constrained, the CIA is virtually the only source of state open space grant money.  DEP is using CIA money for the current grant round due in early May.  CIA revenues also fund two staff positions in the DEP's Land Acquisition Unit to administer the Matching Grants program.

Please call the Main Senate Democrats office - say you are calling to object to any diversion of funds from the Community Investment Act.  To call your own State Senator, go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/slist.asp.  Click on the gold ball next to your Senator's name, then look on the right side of their webpage that comes up for their phone number. You'll probably be connected with an aide, so just leave the message with them.  Registering your opposition is what is important!  If you don't know your Senator's name, you go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp. Enter your address and your lawmakers' names will appear below.  Follow the directions as above.

Thanks for taking the time to call. We need your help to protect this critical open space funding!

Thank you again!


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 M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation

Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488

Phone: (203)264-5098 x305
or 203-267-6732 x305
Fax: (203)264-6332

pcomins at audubon.org<mailto:pcomins at audubon.org>

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