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Farmers, Local Government and Land Trusts Lobby New York Legislature

AFT lobby day March 2014 resized for enewsAmerican Farmland Trust and a team of farmers and representatives from local government and land trusts met with legislators last week to advocate for funding for the state Farmland Protection Program beyond the $1 million increase proposed by Governor Cuomo in his executive budget. The Farmland Protection Program is part of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) which the Governor proposed funding at $157 million, a $4 million increase. In the house budgets, which came out last week, the Assembly proposed increasing the EPF to $167 million while the Senate proposed $200 million in funding by putting $47 million from the state’s Superfund into the EPF of which $43 million will go to improve municipal water infrastructure. Unfortunately neither house budget includes any increased funding for farmland protection beyond that proposed by Governor Cuomo. With the April 1st deadline approaching, the Assembly, Senate and the Governor have begun negotiations. We urge the state to increase funding for farmland conservation to $25 million to help farmers and communities protect New York’s irreplaceable farmland.

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