Public Policy

Connecticut Conservation Needs Community Investment

The Community Investment Act (CIA) has provided funding for 894 projects in 157 towns, for a total of $122.5 million given back to Connecticut.

As the Connecticut General Assembly moves into the last month of the Long Legislative Session of 2019, conservation organizations statewide have their ears and eyes trained for news about the passing of this important funding source for conservation.

Audubon Connecticut, along with our partners in conservation across Connecticut, is advocating for full protection of the Community Investment Act (CIA) – and complete restoration of its budget. 

While the Governor’s recommendations for 2019-2021 called for a major change to the CIA that would make it subject to lapse, the Appropriations Committee listened to our arguments and recommended the CIA remain a non-lapsing fund.

We have also been meeting with lawmakers to request a return of the $5 million sweep. Stay tuned for updates on how you can help! 

The CIA budget has experienced a history of funding diversions and sweeps. Each time this happens, quality of life for our communities and our wildlife are negatively affected.

In 2015, the legislature passed a measure to divert funding from reaching the CIA accounts in an effort to balance the state budget. This action resulted in a seventy percent cut in funding in the four core program areas.

Each year since, the CIA has been similarly utilized to remedy general revenue shortfalls. In 2016, agencies were again forced to work with reduced fund balances that resulted in a growing list of unfunded needs and projects across the state.

Now through early June, before the budget is finalized, we are preparing to act as-needed to ensure this important fund isn’t diverted again. 

We may ask you to write or call your legislators on this or other important issues as those items get presented as bills to either chamber. For those who like to stay one step ahead of the game, learn more about contacting elected officials here.

How you can help, right now