Public Policy Research Paper

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Public Policy in the State of Maryland: An Examination of Revenues and Potential Funding Options

The objective of this work is to examine the funding policies in the State of Maryland of the Department of Natural Resources funding allotments and to critically analyze funding decision-making in this area of economic finance for the State of Maryland. The State of Maryland invests deeply in its natural resources, which is shown by the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Maryland receiving more funding than any other department according to the states' budget for fiscal year 2011.

Public Policy in the State of Maryland: An Examination of Revenues and Potential Funding Options

Objective

The objective of this work is to examine the funding policies in the State of Maryland of the Department of Natural Resources funding allotments and to critically analyze the funding decision-making in this area of economic finance for the State of Maryland.

Introduction

The State of Maryland invests deeply in its natural resources, which is evidenced by the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Maryland receiving more funding than any other department according to the states' budget for fiscal year 2011.

III. Statement of Thesis

The governmental funding policies in the State of Maryland are sound policy decision-making since the natural resources of the state comprise the largest asset that the State of Maryland has claim to and this is well acknowledged in the funding allotments to the Department of Natural Resources focused on preserving and conserving the state's natural resources and specifically the most valuable of all state resources or those of natural resources.

IV. Analysis of Budget Index

A review of the budget index for the State of Maryland reveals that the highest funding amounts are directed toward the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Maryland. The divisions in the Department of Natural Resources include those as follows with accompanying funding amounts for fiscal year 2011.

Figure 1

State of Maryland -- Department of Natural Resources FY 2010 Funding

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

702,775

FOREST SERVICE

716,777

WILDLIFE AND HERITAGE SERVICE

719,778

MARYLAND PARK SERVICE

723,779

LAND ACQUISITION AND PLANNING

728,780

LICENSING AND REGISTRATION SERVICE

732,781

NATURAL RESOURCES POLICE

734,782

ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION

740,783

CRITICAL AREA COMMISSION

745,784

BOATING SERVICES

747,784

RESOURCE ASSESSMENT SERVICE

753,785

MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST

764,786

WATERSHED SERVICES

766,786

FISHERIES SERVICE

772,787

Source: State of Maryland FY 2011

The largest department fund is directed toward the Department of Natural resources reported to be responsible for the "...protection, enhancement, and balanced use of Maryland's natural resources" (State of Maryland FY 2011) The Department of Natural Resource's Fiscal Year 2011 allowance is reported to total $297.7 million, which is an increase "…of $49 million or 20% for the FY 2010 appropriation." (State of Maryland FY 2011) This growth is stated to be due to the "…growth in transfer tax revenues available for land acquisition and a substantial increase in revenues to Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund." (State of Maryland FY 2011)

V. Reduction of Budget by $22.1 Million

The State of Maryland has stated that the budget will be reduced by approximately $22.1 million, $297.6 million of which is reduced in the allotment to the Department of Natural Resources. The primary accomplishment of the Department of Natural Resources is reported to include the following state accomplishments:

(1) DNR's budget has increased by 10% since FY 2009. During that time, DNR has continued to protect Maryland's most valuable areas through Program Open Space (POS), has improved recreational services at our State Parks, and has maintained the use and safety of Maryland's waterways;

(2) The FY 2011 allowance includes $20 million for the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund after a contingent reduction for projects aimed at reducing the amount of non-point source pollution reaching the Bay. This amount is more than double the $8 million provided in FY 2010 or the $9.6 million provided in FY 2009.

(3) In FY 2011, the State will have restored an estimated 1,800 cumulative acres of wetlands, more than double the FY 2007 amount of 850 acres;

(4) The Park Service Division launched initiatives aimed at providing Maryland's youth with opportunities to experience nature and develop an ethic of stewardship. (State of Maryland FY 2011)

The following chart labeled Figure 2 shows the State of Maryland -- Department of Natural Resources 2011 Expenditures

Figure 2

State of Maryland -- Department of Natural Resources FY 2011 Expenditures

Source: State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report

The following chart shows the data for wetlands acreage restored of enhanced beginning FY2008 and running through FY 2011 for the State of Maryland -- Department of Natural Resources.

Figure 3

Wetlands Acreage Restored or Enhanced

Source: State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report

The funding changes that are reported to be significant in nature include the enhancement of the efficiency of the Department of Natural Resources customer service by providing $750,000 in the FY 2011 budget for "…an automated Outdoor Customer Service Delivery System to provide licenses for recreational anglers, hunters, commercial watermen, as well as titles and registrations for vessels within the State." (State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report)

The Department of Natural Resources fiscal year 2011 budget allowance is of the nature that reduces the costs of vehicles in the amount of $256,294. Additional efficiencies targeting travel, electrical use, and office equipment, result in $845,069 of additional savings." (State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report)

It is reported that funding for several major DNR divisions has risen since FY 2007. In addition, it is reported that the Park Service Division receives $35.6 million in FY 2011, which is a reported increase of 10% from FY 2007. The Wildlife Heritage Service Division, which is responsible for ensuring a healthy balance between ecological and societal needs, receives $10.6 million in FY 2011, an increase of 11% from FY 2007." (State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report)

VI. Specific DNR Budget Reductions

In the area of containment of cost, it is stated that the Department of Natural Resources achieved cost containment savings totaling $11.8 million in FY 2010 and that some of this will carry over into fiscal year 2011. Included in the reductions are:

(1) The elimination of 53 positions;

(2) The consolidation and streamlining of management responsibilities; and (3) A delay in replacement of watercrafts and vehicles. (State of Maryland FY 2011 Budget Report)

VII. Importance of Forest Lands in Maryland

One of the objectives of the Department of Natural Resources is the protection of forests. Forests are reported to make provision of "…an abundance of necessary ecological services including nutrient reduction/uptake, stream bank stabilization, thermal buffering of streams, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, erosion control, flood control, and water and air filtration." Forests further provide societal benefits including those of "…shade, open space, quality of life, aesthetics, existence values, and recreational opportunities." (State of Maryland -- Forest Taskforce, 2010)

Forests are reported to be the natural land covering of the Chesapeake Bay watershed 3. Forests are the natural land cover of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and their existence is key to restoring the health of Chesapeake Bay." (State of Maryland -- Forest Taskforce, 2010) Economic benefits provided by the forest industry include the employment of 14,000 individuals and the provision of $2.4 billion to Maryland's state economy in renewable energy, potential future markets for nutrients, carbon or water credit trading as well as ecological services." (State of Maryland -- Forest Taskforce, 2010)

Threats faced by forests include those of insects, disease, and invasive plants and animals in addition to wildlife populations that are unsustainable in nature and development including residential, commercial, and utilities and transportation infrastructure. Forest land is lost on an annual basis as the parcelization of forest land occurs posing a greater land use conversion risk. (State of…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"NNLTFFINALREPORT1.pdf" 

Cite This Research Paper:

"Public Policy" (2010, November 14) Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/public-policy-122604

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"Public Policy", 14 November 2010, Accessed.2 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/public-policy-122604

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