Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation
Once again Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) has endorsed the Tennessee Real Estate Transfer Funds (and “Forever Green Tennessee” campaign) and included all four of the fully-funded Transfer Funds in his FY 2012-13 state budget!
Furthermore, the law that allows the diversion of these funds from the 4 dedicated funds to the General Fund is scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2012. What this means is that unless the General Assembly ONCE AGAIN targets these funds in the Appropriations Bill, these conservation funds will be safe forever. (Well, unless YET ANOTHER law is passed to allow the diversion or the outright dissolution of the “dedicated” mechanism.)
Here’s what at stake:
The State Lands Acquisition Fund will be funded with $3,087,500;
the Local Parks & Recreation Fund has been appropriated $3,718,700;
the Wetlands Fund will receive $6,521,300;
and the Agriculture Resources Conservation Fund will receive $3,187,500.
This is a whopping $16,515,000 for woods, water and wildlife; for our children and grandchildren; for a beautiful and sustainable Tennessee; for our farmers and outdoorsmen; for a Forever Green Tennessee!
Now, fellow Tennesseans, it’s up to us to make sure that the General Assembly keeps these funds in their final, approved budget. We will monitor the finance hearings and keep you posted. But this is a huge step in the right direction for the Tennessee Real Estate Transfer Funds and the Forever Green Tennessee coalition!