New York State Senate Moves to Save Conservation Funding

Senator Bill Larkin Concerned Federal Matching Funds in Jeopardy

The New York State Senate this week passed legislation (Senate bill S.5921) sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti which would preserve New York’s federal matching funds for two key conservation programs geared for fish and wildlife restoration.  It will bar the transfer of state funds from any account contingent upon a matching requirement for the receipt of federal revenues. 

“We cannot afford to lose the federal matching funds for these vital conservation programs,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson).  “New York stands to lose close to twenty million dollars in federal funding without this legislation.  New York State does not have the means to make up for this reduction in funding and we cannot allow these programs to lapse or deteriorate to a point where it will take years to bring them back to the standards we enjoy now,” said Larkin. 

Under current law, the NYS Division of Budget can transfer excess funds from any special revenue fund to the general fund.  This includes the New York State Conservation Fund which serves as a required match guarantee for federal funds currently available to New York State pursuant to the federal Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act and the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.  If this legislation is not signed into law, New York stands to lose $9.13 million from the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act and $11.22 million from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.

This legislation now heads to the New York State Assembly for action.