Rhode Island Cuts Funding for Open Space, Clean Water

The Projo reports that $35 million has been cut from the state budget that had been proposed to fund open space and clean water projects. Apparently the house finance committee does not see the logic of funding environmental health, even when that funding is matched 50-50 from the federal government and is slated for an increase this year. From the Projo:

PROVIDENCE — Whenever clean water and open space bond issues go before Rhode Island voters, they generally pass by wide margins. But voters probably won’t get an opportunity to express their opinion on some $35 million in bonds proposed by Governor Carcieri this year, because the House Finance Committee revealed yesterday it cut the bonds from the state budget.

The cuts will cause the loss of millions more dollars for clean water and open space because the state bonds are used to attract funding from the federal government and other sources. The impact will probably be felt most at the municipal level because much of the money was targeted for local pollution-reduction efforts.

Environmental leaders reacted with anger and disappointment, mixed with some appreciation of the state’s financial woes.

“We could be repeating history,� said outgoing Save the Bay executive director Curt Spalding. “This is how the Bay got so polluted in the first place.� [full text]

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20 responses

  1. VERY SAD!! I’m appalled that no regard is placed on the state’s environmental health or the hard work that has been put into saving RI’s natural resources. Hopefully this doesn’t mean “Goodbye farms and clean water, hello BJ’s and gas stations…”

  2. To me it is a wake up call for EVERY municipality to push for their City’s Open Space Bond money. Enough of the Gish Gallop we get handed by polliticians – go and get it yourself as a united group like Cranston is doing.

  3. There are posts about this on 2 local sites. The Natural News Network has a letter from Stu Nunnery and more information.

    Cranston Style has a more satirical look at the cuts, but it’s also a good read.

  4. Suzanne Arena

    Cranston Style had some funny headlines on a sad passage.

    It’s amazing that a few short months ago May 2007 we signed the Geotourism Charter which seems to have little merit in light of these Farmland/Open space cuts.

    It’s unfortunate that many men are in the Assembly because like most women I work with (now I know this is going to sound sexist – – but it’s a fact) that they, the women, control ALL the money. Because, it seems the husbands have a spending and not recording it down problem…or the lephrochons will come to their aid. Poof, they loose their turn after messing up a few times to many. Now, we have the men managing our money and not watching how they are spending it – – and look at the fine mess we are in.

    1,000 apologies to anyone I have offended – but this is meant as an observation. I have enough on my plate than to have wanted this additional burden. – LOL

  5. joe bernstein

    I really enjoy the fact that I can live in Providence and drive 15 minutes in one direction and be in the woods and 40 minutes to be on Beavertail where the bay meets the sea.What’s better than that?That’s why I still live here in spite of rancid politicians and high taxes with no discernible return to the public.This bond issue should be a no-brainer.I’m sort of conservative and I believe that includes CONSERVING natural resources which include open spaces.And water-the next looming issue on the heels of energy-for now we are lucky to have the Scituate Reservoir.

  6. i sure don’t want the whole state to look like rt.2

  7. Suzanne,
    My husband takes care of our finances;)

  8. Nancy-you owe me for a keyboard-i just spit up my coffee on it thinking of RT 2 :))

  9. my visiting nurse job takes me into the savage wilds of warwick and cranston. scary places that don’t even have sidewalks. but i do it, it’s my vocation. then i go back to providence where it’s safe.

  10. joe bernstein

    Nancy-I suspected you were a visiting nurse.That is a very important occupation and I appreciate what you do.My father was on home hospice in New Jersey around 1991-92 and the visiting nurses were super.I got down there as much as I could,but they really were there whenever they were needed.I bet half the people you would ask don’t even know about the services visiting nurses provide.When’s the last time you heard of a doctor making a house call?(House call-whazzat?)

  11. some doctors have nurse practitioners on their staff who make house calls. it’s a great idea, and if you’re looking for a doctor for someone who might need a housecall, it’s worth checking out. medicine is a business, and some doctors are starting to find an opportunity to fill a need. i have a few elderly patients who never leave the house, and their doctors make an exception and visit them. but so much money is diverted to the insurance industry with all its paperwork, and a malpractice system that burdens doctors and doesn’t protect patients, that an ethical practitioner really has to hustle to make a decent living.
    i can tell you that once i subtract the travel time and car upkeep i’m not making anything near what i could get in a nursing home. but the good thing is i’m not working in a nursing home. yea!

  12. Suzanne,
    Mike (Rachel’s husband) must be doing a fine job with the family finances–their new kitchen is quite swank.
    My wife takes care of all issues financial in our household–so consider me un-offended. Rick

  13. joe bernstein

    Nancy-you’re helping people live with some dignity rather than maintaining than in a warehouse for humans-it won’t buy you gas,but im sure it gives you slef-satisfaction-i decided early on in my career not to advance to a higher position because i felt useful where i was-when i could no longer be as effective as i thought i should due to medical problems,i just pulled the pin and called it a day
    (i was so unconscious that i was a senior special agent for 9 years-my one promotion-and i never got issued a senior badge-before i retired thay asked me if i wanted one in lucite-i said-no thanks,i’ll take the one i carried)
    oaky-i apologize for going sooo far off topic here :)),but this blog induces interesting and rambling exchanges

  14. i really like my work, and the pay is decent. i’m worried about the CNA’s who provide the direct care. the state hasn’t given them a raise in 3 years and the pay is low to start with. it’s even worse in massachusetts.

  15. joe bernstein

    CNA’s should be encouraged to go to an RN course.CCRI offers one here that a friend of mine graduated from.
    The CNA’s deserve good pay anyhow,because they have to do a frequently unpleasant job with a lot of pathogen exposure.

  16. Suzanne Arena

    My type of conversation…from one extreme to another.

    I agree that if we had more visiting nurses to homes that more people might contemplate keeping their parents at home. In Italy, a nursing home is an unheard of place. I’m very grateful to nurses of strength that have higher expectations of themselves than I could imagine. But, I only wonder at what cost is it to you and your family? Why are other countries able to weave this into their infrastructure and have the medical profession visit?

  17. Rick,
    Thanks, we’re very happy with our new kitchen!

    We had a visiting nurse come a few times when our son came home from the hospital, she was wonderful.

  18. thanks to you all for the kind words about visiting nurses. to joe, i encourage any CNA who wants to be a nurse to check out CCRI. i went there and it was like boot camp, but fast and cheap.
    but CNA work is a very important, responsible and fulfilling kind of work in itself. there’s no way people will be able to stay at home without CNA’s and homemakers. They deserve decent pay, and need continuing education to do their jobs at the best level of skill.
    i can document one incident where a CNA saved a life, and that patient recovered and returned home.

  19. CCRI does have a great nursing program, as well as a CNA certificate program.

  20. An amendment went before the House today to add Open Space funding to the budget and it was defeated by only 3 votes.

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