And it won't just be the environment that suffers:
With DENR reducing employment in divisions responsible for permitting, our first fear is that the permit granting process will be slowed. For many years, business leaders and developers complained that DENR failed to process permit applications quickly enough. In previous sessions, legislators increased staffing and trimmed procedures to speed permit decisions.
If permit approval slows because there are fewer employees to do the work, we fear that both investments and jobs will be lost.
When the Legislature did its "listening tour" a few years ago, the number one complaint from business leaders was the amount of time it took to get permits issued from DENR. Tales of a six-month wait, or in some cases a year or more, were brought to light. And how do Republicans respond? By cutting back on the number of permitting agents. So much for "business-friendly" politicians. Just like the regulators themselves, those business leaders are merely pawns in the GOP's drive to destroy DENR.