RI’s Staggering $14B Budget manages current crises,

but thoughtful planning is needed for future success

State House, Providence – Rhode Island House Minority Leader Michael Chippendale offers the following statement on the FY25 budget bill: 

“As we do during each budget process, House Republicans identified a number of concerns in the FY25 Budget Bill. As each issue was explored, we worked with the Speaker and the House Fiscal Staff to integrate a number of good government and cost-savings proposals into the budget. Key budget takeaways championed by House Republicans include: 

·         The budget holds the line on broad-based taxes and provides a measure of relief to retirees and small businesses 

·         Bolsters aid for local road and bridges maintenance in the municipal infrastructure program 

·         Helps to gain and retain professionals locally in medical fields, education and public safety – all of which have been front burner concerns for Republicans since the pandemic 

·         Directed federal support for our aging residents and those most impacted by the national inflation crisis 

·         Environment focus: Ongoing support for our Conservation Districts, forested land, freshwater lakes, forestry staffing, dam repair, and shoreline access 

·         Funding was allocated for the English Language Learner Program, and for math and English coaches in an effort to address the low RICAS scores across the state 

·         Fiscally responsible use of ARPA monies by directing unspent funds to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and other one-time items

·         11th hour Citizens Bank Amendment removed – will be thoughtfully developed legislatively in upcoming months

These are prudent investments. 

Conversely, the $14B budget will become unsustainable as it is a federally-inflated budget that seeks to address a number of Rhode Island’s serious issues --such as education, the healthcare crisis, housing, the bridge infrastructure debacle (to name a few.) However, without the necessary support of thoughtful, effective and transparent plans for better outcomes, we are going to be in the same boat next year, and our taxpayers can’t bear the burden if we attempt to resume this level of spending in coming years. 

We need to provide more relief to assist small businesses and Rhode Island’s middle class - who simply cannot sustain this level of spending.  Rhode Island is among the 10 least friendly states for middle class families – placing 8th among the highest tax burdened residents in the US. 

We need a major overhaul in our government. We need a watchdog in a position so that wasteful spending becomes a thing of the past. We need an Office of Inspector General, and it can’t be created soon enough.” 

 

 

South Florida is starting to dry out. Governor Ron DeSantis says more rain is on the way, but he believes it will be closer to regular afternoon showers that residents usually experience this time of year. DeSantis had declared a state of emergency earlier in the week as the rains flooded streets and stranded drivers. Damage assessments are still underway.        Trump's claims of presidential immunity will be decided later. The Supreme Court did not issue a ruling on the consequential case today, but may do so on June 20th when its next opinions are released. The case impacts some of Trump's pending cases, including his alleged attempts to overturn 2020 presidential election.       Kate, Princess of Wales, says she is making "good progress" in her treatment for cancer. In a rare statement Friday, the British royal said she is still undergoing chemotherapy and that she has "a few more months" of treatment remaining. She also announced that she will be attending a military parade Saturday to mark King Charles the Third's birthday.        A U.S. attack sub and a Canadian navy ship are arriving in Cuba, right on the heels of Russian warships. The U.S. Southern Command confirmed the USS Helena arrived at Guantanamo Bay Thursday, saying it's part of a previously planned routine visit. The arrival of a Russian frigate and submarine at the Havana Port has been seen as a show of force by the longtime ally of Cuba, but both the U.S. and Cuba said it posed no threat        Pope Francis is praising the value of humor with a group of world famous comedians. The pontiff met with Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock and Conan O'Brien at the Vatican. He told the group that they have the power to spread peace and smiles, when there is so much gloomy news.        The CDC is warning about a salmonella outbreak in at least nine states that's linked to pet bearded dragons. The CDC says at least 15 people, including four in New York, have contracted salmonella with symptoms including diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Four have been hospitalized.