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Environmental advocates push for funding changes for state parks

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is being urged by members of the legislature's Environment Committee to consider alternative revenue sources.  A recent $10 million cut in funding resulted in changes in the operation of state parks and museums. 


Litchfield state Representative Craig Miner, who is running for the 30th Senate District which includes New Milford, says the long term viability of public opportunities needs to be sustained.  Right now, he says what the public sees is less hours, less lifeguards and closed parks.  He says that may be needed in the short term, but if they don't rethink that model, it will be less forever.


Connecticut is 1 of 3 states which relies exclusively on General Fund Revenue.


Miner says DEEP is on the defense, but should be on the offense.


DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen says the Department has considered sponsorships, but past efforts haven't yielded the robust response they were looking for.  But she says they will keep trying.  She says certain protections have to be in place so the regulatory side of the agency doesn't get mixed up with the operational side.