FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2018
CONSERVATION MEASURE RECEIVES OVERWHELMING, BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT
Bills designed to dedicate funding passed on Crossover Day
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act (HB 332) and companion legislation calling for voter approval in a referendum this fall (HR 238) were both overwhelmingly passed by the Georgia House of Representatives last night with only 2 dissenting votes. The bills would dedicate a portion of the existing state sales and use tax to the conservation of the state’s lands, waters and wildlife.
“Georgia’s economic success and quality of life are inextricably connected to our abundant, yet finite, natural resources. Putting a mechanism into place that ensures dedicated funding for land conservation will allow us to protect the quality of our water and maintain access to lands enjoyed by hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts in communities throughout our state,” said Deron Davis, state director of The Nature Conservancy and chair of Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition.
“We are grateful for the support this measure has received from Representative Sam Watson and the leadership and members of the House Natural Resources and Ways and Means Committees - and we look forward to working with members of the Senate to bring this measure to voters in November,” added Robert Ramsay, president of the Georgia Conservancy and legislative chair of the coalition.
Based upon estimates of annual sales of outdoor recreation equipment, the legislation in its current form proposes the dedication of 0.40% of existing state sales tax collections and allows the General Assembly to grow or decrease the amount of dedicated funding as needed to meet the state’s conservation and financial needs.
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition is comprised of The Conservation Fund, The Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land.