MONTPELIER – The Vermont state budget that went into effect this month was hailed as a success of eleventh hour compromise when it was passed just a few weeks ago. Democrats and Republicans alike applauded the budget measure that will allocate the state’s finances through June of 2018. But The Winooski has learned, upon careful study of the budget which can be found here, that this new budget completely omits the care and study of Vermont’s oceans.
At a time when sea levels are projected to rise, and the world’s oceans are filling with trash faster than they can be cleaned, this shocking omission shows a clear lack of regard for the environment by the Democrats, and for the economy by the Republicans. Oceans are big money makers for states, as tourists flock to beaches, boardwalks, and marinas, and to include no money at all in the budget for upkeep of these vital pieces of infrastructure is unusual.
As 2019 budget preparations begin, it is likely that the legislature will begin to feel the pressure from both environmental groups and local business organizations to increase oceanic funding in the future.