Katie Dykes’ new job as DEEP commissioner brings old and new challenges, such as the growing threat of climate change.
Voters overwhelmingly approved two amendments to the state Constitution, including a new legal “lockbox” to safeguard funds earmarked for Connecticut’s transportation program.
Two well-intentioned environmental polices – one encouraging more renewable power and the other the preservation of farms and forestland – are colliding. They are pitting farmer against farmer and environmental interest groups against one another, putting state departments at odds, and raising the always explosive issue of private property rights versus state policy.
A constitutional amendment barring the disposal of state-owned land without a public hearing and legislative approval fell short Wednesday of the margin necessary to be placed on the November ballot.
For those pursuing energy and environmental initiatives, this legislative session was already heading toward half-a-loaf results before the budget impasse erupted. In the end there were big wins, big losses and everything in between.
Faced with a $2 million dollar cut to the Connecticut parks budget, the legislature is considering a new funding model. With 140 state parks and forests, the state is poised to join a trend among states of cobbling together park funding from an array of sources.
In fact many are concerned about his departure, worrying that no successor will have the breadth of expertise Esty had across energy and environmental subjects, and some fear a backsliding, especially in regional energy initiatives.