Funding Case Study: Pennsylvania

In the 1990s, the Pennsylvania legislature twice passed measures that generated funding for environmental cleanup and conservation, including the Growing Greener program, enacted in 1999. These programs protected more than 40,000 acres of family farms and more than 35,000 acres of critical habitat. But by the mid-2000s it was clear to both conservationists and government leaders—most notably newly elected governor Ed Rendell—that new funds would be needed if the state were to preserve its quality of life and attract new-economy businesses to replace older rust-belt enterprises. In April 2005, legislators passed and Governor Rendell signed an act placing a $625 million conservation and environmental remediation bond measure on the May 2005 ballot. The Pennsylvania Alliance for Restoration and Conservation—a coalition of nearly 20 foundations and environmental nonprofits—asked TPL affiliate the Conservation Campaign to help build support for the measure, which passed with 61 percent of the vote.