|Posted:||December 3, 2020 01:48 PM|
|From:||Senator Scott Martin|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Agricultural Preservation Funds Use|
|In the near future, I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 881 from last session that, if passed, will direct a portion of the state-allocated farmland preservation funding to be set aside annually for use by land trusts. This approach will help generate additional private dollars to support Pennsylvania’s farmland preservation efforts.
Currently, 58 of the 67 counties have a farmland preservation program and there are over 80 land trust organizations operating in the Commonwealth. However, private land trusts are ineligible to receive public preservation dollars.
It is important to note that this legislation does not call for increased funding from taxpayers. Instead, it would shift a portion of funding already allocated to county-operated farmland preservation programs to be used by land trusts. The legislation would also require that the land trusts provide matching funds, which could be raised from agri-businesses, lenders and/or private citizens; infusing new dollars into vital farmland preservation efforts.
Land trusts also have a history of success in working with the plain sect community, which is often reluctant to work with government.
This effort has broad support from preservation groups across the Commonwealth that help protect Pennsylvania agriculture.
Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as SB64