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 â€” Whenever clean water and open space bond issues go before Rhode Island voters, they generally pass by wide margins. But voters probably wonâ€™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 stateâ€™s financial woes.
â€œWe could be repeating history,â€? said outgoing Save the Bay executive director Curt Spalding. â€œThis is how the Bay got so polluted in the first place.â€? [full text]