Here are the details sent by Master Gardeners in Northern Virginia, but it applies statewide:
Budget negotiations and votes start this week. Proposal HB30:
Item 219 #2h did pass and is on the table to eliminate Cooperative Extension
completely in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William and four other
counties. Emails to legislators is NEEDED.
WHERE'S THE FIRE? Cooperative
Extension JOBS would be ELIMINATED in Fairfax and Northern Virginia. Master
Gardener programs, 4-H, nutrition to low income families, financial literacy and
JOBS would be eliminated. (Info http://leg1.state.va.us/101/bud/SubCom/HB30Committee.PDF
; p77, item 219 #2h).
WHAT CAN I DO? * Save JOBS in 90 SECONDS: Click on
link. Cut/Paste message (KEEP Line 1, adjust rest if desire) into text box to
send to your state senators, representatives. To find & email your state
You can send more than once. THANK YOU in advance for your help!
Subject: REJECT ELIMINATION of Extension
JOBS and Services
I am writing to urge you to
PROTECT funding for Cooperative Extension and REJECT the amendment to the House
Budget Bill Item 219 #2h that would close eight Virginia Cooperative Extension
field offices, including the one in Fairfax County and the elimination of its
tremendously valuable services to the community.
Impacts and Costs of
the Proposed Budget Amendment: HB 30, item 219 #2H
elimination of Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) and Community Viability (CV) will
lead to the significant reduction or total elimination of the following
LOSS: Over $8.8 Million in federal grants,
endowments, and local partnerships.
COST: Over $4 Million in severance to
staff and faculty.
LOSS: The value of volunteers lost in eliminated urban
units is $1,580,646.
LOSS: The Fairfax office closure would lead to six
constituents to the state's UNEMPLOYMENT costs.
LOSS: The Fairfax 4-H
program staff of one reaches 5,968 youth currently. Collaborators include
Fairfax County Public Schools, Frying Pan Farm Park, Operation Military Kids,
and Volunteer Fairfax.
LOSS: To local Business: Horticulture education
classes for professional landscapers advance the Green Industry. Workshops and
Programs focus on pesticide safety and environmentally sound landscaping
practices. Food Safety programs to local restaurants and child care
LOSS: To Homeowners: Master Gardeners have contributed 27,635
hours and have assisted over 45,135 community members. "Healthy Weights for
Healthy Kids" and "Active Aging" are two of many programs for youth and seniors
health that would be eliminated.
Cooperative Extension's goals include
spurring economic development through entrepreneurship and community viability;
building and sustaining healthy communities; and agriculture. I trust that a way
can be found to achieve a balanced budget without sacrificing such an important
and valuable resource for our community.
I request that as our elected
official, you fight to urge the House and Senate to reject efforts to eliminate
Extension offices and
Extra Info: contact Angie Delboy, an Extension volunteer,
The House and Senate budget process is now with a key group
of "Conferees" below. Please contact YOUR legislators. These are the key
negotiators from the House and Senate that will be coming to terms with a
compromise for the state budget that can ALSO hear your concerns to REJECT the
elimination of Extension. Negotiations start Tues March 2, 2010. Please SEND an
email NOW to your legislators and these below.
Colgan, Chairman (Prince William)
R. Edward Houck (Spotsylvania)
Richard L. Saslaw (Fairfax)
Walter A. Stosch
William C. Wampler (Bristol)
House:Lacey E. Putney, Chairman
M. Kirkland Cox (Colonial Heights)
Beverly J. Sherwood
R. Steven Landes (Augusta)
S. Chris Jones (Suffolk)
S. Joannou (Portsmouth)