FIRST REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 31

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES COOKSON (Sponsor), SWINGER, PHILLIPS, RUZICKA, FITZWATER, AULL, CASEY, SHIVELY, BLACK, ROWLAND, LASATER, SCHIEBER, FALLERT, DENISON, HOUGHTON, KRATKY, MEADOWS, SMITH (150), WELLS, RICHARDSON, HAMPTON AND FRAKER (Co-sponsors).

1332L.01I


            WHEREAS, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by the United States Congress in 1965 to preserve, develop, and assure accessibility to quality outdoor recreation resources "to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States"; and


            WHEREAS, the LWCF is principally funded by revenue received from offshore energy extraction and is authorized to receive $900 million annually through the annual appropriations process; and


            WHEREAS, the LWCF funds a federal land acquisition program and provides matching grants to states and localities for capital projects through the State Assistance program; and


            WHEREAS, investments from the LWCF State Assistance program support the creation of public parks in rural and urban communities throughout America, protect green space and local water supplies, guarantee outdoor recreation opportunities, spur economic development, create jobs, and significantly aid national efforts to promote health, connect youth to nature and the outdoors, combat childhood obesity, and protect the environment; and


            WHEREAS, in the original authorizing legislation, Congress recognized the important role of state and local parks in achieving its intended purpose by requiring the allocation of 60% of LWCF annual funding to the State Assistance program and 40% to the federal program; and


            WHEREAS, the language protecting the State Assistance program was removed in the mid 1970s resulting in a disproportional amount (84%) of LWCF funding going to the federal side of the program over the past 25 years; and


            WHEREAS, no language exists to protect the State Assistance funding allocations, and Congress appropriated a total of approximately $304 million to LWCF in FY 2009 but allocated only $19 million (6%) to the State Assistance program, and in FY 2010 appropriated a total of approximately $479 million to LWCF with a mere $490 million (8%) going to the State Assistance program; and


            WHEREAS, Missouri received only $509,599 in FY 2009 and $699,429 in FY 2010 based on Missouri's portion (.017%) of the 16% that is currently allocated to the states; and


            WHEREAS, the disproportional allocation of LWCF funding between the two programs has severely limited state and local governments in their capacity to develop parks and open spaces and protect green space and local water supplies in light of rapidly increasing populations; and


            WHEREAS, LWCF provides one-time funding for state and local capital projects and state and local governments equally match the federal dollars, then assume all costs of management and maintenance; and


            WHEREAS, LWCF State Assistance program has invested more than $84,125,968 in Missouri since 1965 and has funded 1,275 projects; and


            WHEREAS, requiring 40% of LWCF funds to be annually allocated to the State Assistance program would not increase the national debt, but would ensure a more balanced allocation of resources between federal land acquisition and state and local community conservation efforts, as intended by the authorizing legislation. This would provide $6 million for Missouri's 2012 LWCF budget:


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby call on the United States Congress to implement legislation specifying an annual allocation of at least 40% of Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) moneys to the State Assistance program; and


            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for President Barack Obama, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.