Kaine addresses federal budget issues during tour of VIMS campus
After being briefed on some of the technical work being conducted at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Kaine said that Virginia doesn’t do as well in getting its share of funding for research projects as it does for various Department of Defense programs in the state.
Sequestration has hurt funding many federal programs in recent years, Kaine said, and he expects the federal budget to be impacted by sequester at least through the early 2020s.
The former Virginia governor said that current Gov. Terry McAuliffe faces “a different budget challenge” than the federal budget decision makers. In some cases, Kaine said, all McAuliffe can do is to “tighten his belt” as he faces some federal cuts.
At the federal level, the budget is prepared quite a bit differently than it is at the state level, Kaine said, as it must be considered by several separate committees in the U.S. Senate.
VIMS and many other institutions are vying for the same pot of money, Kaine said, but he praised the work of VIMS researchers and staff and said his approximately 2½-hour visit to the Gloucester Point campus was well worth his time. VIMS also has smaller facilities at Wachapreague and Topping.
“I lean on you very heavily,” Kaine said of VIMS’s research about issues as varied as oyster and blue crab populations and sea level rise and climate change. “I’ve got the professional scientists” to back up decisions being made in Washington, D.C.