Governor Hassan’s is proposing the state restore funding to Environmental groups’ first priority: the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The $4 million dollars a year for LCHIP comes from fees tacked generated by certain real-estate transactions. It’s supposed to go into a dedicated fund used to put land and historic building into preservation.
But Jim O’Brien with the Nature Conservancy says, since 2008 that money has been used to plug holes in the state’s budget. O'Brien is optimistic that this money will make it into "Our hope is that the House and Senate Finance Committee will understand that this dedicated fund is being paid by taxpayers to fund land conservation."
Hassan’s budget would restore one million in the first year, and the full amount from the fund in the second year.
It’s not a sure thing that this money will come through budget negotiations untouched, but, there are positive signs for the conservation-minded. In a statement chief Republican budget-maker Chuck Morse chided Hassan for continuing to take money from LCHIP during the first year of the budget.