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Legislative Update: Act Now on Bond to Boost Economy and Environment

We encourage you to voice your support for having the General Assembly place the proposed Local Farms, Open Space, & Recreation bond issue on the November ballot. We at Grow Smart believe that this bond issue would be an important investment in our future economic, environmental and social well being – a means of protecting working farms, of expanding much-needed recreation facilities in our urban centers, and of protecting open space and improving recreational sites throughout the state.

Background

In February, Governor Chafee proposed a $25 million Local Farms, Open Space, and Recreation Bond as part of the state budget. If the RI General Assembly adopts a budget that includes this proposal, a bond referendum will be placed on the November ballot for voter approval.

This Bond proposal includes:

  • $4.5 million for Farmland Protection
  • $2.5 million for Open Space Protection Grants
  • $2.5 million for RIDEM’s Land Acquisition Program
  • $6.5 million for Local Recreation Development Grants
  • $5.0 million for capital improvements and renovations for State Parks and Beaches
  • $4.0 million to protect and restore Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island watersheds

March hearings in the Senate and House Finance Committees brought out broad support for the Bond Issue. Grow Smart joined the RI Land Trust Council, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, municipalities and concerned citizens in testifying in support of the bond. The testimony explained the bond’s importance to Rhode Island’s economy, our quality of life and our health.

The General Assembly is now making decisions on the state’s budget, and over the next couple of weeks, they will decide if the budget includes the Local Farms, Open Space, and Recreation Bond referendum.

If you believe that the bond referendum is an important investment for our State’s future, you can help to make sure it gets on the November ballot by sending a short email or making a quick call to 6 people:

Your own State Representative and State Senator in the General Assembly. If you only have time to make 2 calls or send 2 emails, these are the most important. You can find out the name of your State Representative and Senator on the Secretary of State’s website.

Ask them to support the Local Farm, Open Space, & Recreation Bond referendum and include it in the budget they approve.

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