In Connecticut: Water Funding Means Jobs and a Cleaner Environment
Posted March 3, 2011
By Jeanette Brown, 2010-2011 WEF President
On March 1, 2011, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Legislative Breakfast sponsored by the New England Water Environment Association in conjunction with the Connecticut Water Pollution Control Association and co-sponsored by a consortium of CT environmental groups. The program was entitled 2011 Legislative Priorities: Creating Jobs and Improving the Environment.
A number of key legislators attended, including the co-chairmen of the Environment Committee, Senator Edward Meyer and co‐chair, Representative Richard Roy. Also attending was Representative Betty Boukus, Chair of the Bonding Subcommittee of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and Senator Anthony Guglielmo, member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding, Labor & Public Employees committees. The focus was on continued funding of CT SRF and the resulting economic benefits provided coupled with the continued long term environmental improvements to the Long Island Sound.
I discussed national funding needs as well as the impact of the current House of Representative spending bill on the state’s revolving loan fund. I also explained to the legislators that members of WEF and our member associations (in this case NEWEA) are the technical experts and that the legislators should use us as a resource. I discussed the impact of new regulations on local budgets and the fact that most people do not place a high enough value on water. Other speakers included Past NEWEA President Arnold Bevins, CT DEP staff, and former CT DEP Commissioner Sidney Holbrook.
The meeting evolved to an informal roundtable resulting in some very open and very informative dialogue and follow-up meetings with the legislators being scheduled. The organizers from both NEWEA and CWPAA were very pleased with the results and are already discussing how to approach the event next year.