On February 17, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 0503 – Natural Resources – Greenspace Equity Program – Establishment.
The Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, SB 0923, on March 30.
HB 0503 redirects a segment of the state-side Program Open Space (POS) to establish the Greenspace Equity Program, for the purpose of providing funds to enhance the livablility of overburdened and underserved communities. Since POS was first implemented in 1969, the State of Maryland and its counties have been immensely successful in leveraging this program to bring public recreation and natural areas to a greater number of Marylanders. Counties applaud this legislation’s intent to further expand these efforts to include Maryland’s less fortunate communities.
From the MACo Testimony:
POS is the critical pillar in how counties fund many of their recreation and preservation programs. Without the local side of POS many county parks departments would be unable to adequately function. HB 503’s Greenspace Equity Program seeks to further local preservation and recreation efforts by preserving the local side of POS and allowing access to additional resources from the state share of POS. As the level of government closest to the people, county parks departments remain the best positioned to identify and work to preserve greenspace in the communities we all call home.
More on MACo’s Advocacy: