Budget house

Governor, Democratic Legislative Leaders Delay Budget, House GOP Appeal Decision Irresponsible


Saturday 12 September 2020

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Mattiello, Raimondo and Ruggerio PHOTO: Richard McCaffrey of GoLocal

Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello and Speaker of the Senate Dominick Ruggerio, together with Governor Gina Raimondo, have announced that they are postponing the budget review until an undetermined date in November.

The unprecedented move drew criticism from House Republicans.

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The budget for Fiscal Year 2021 should have been decided before the start of July 2020.

In a joint statement, Raimondo, Mattiello and Ruggerio said:

“While we await instructions from Washington for additional state relief, Rhode Island’s fiscal position for fiscal 21 remains uncertain. COVID-19 has caused significant damage to our national and local economies, and it is essential that we have a full understanding of the funding available to the state. Likewise, the placement of bond issues on the ballot is directly linked to the overall budget plan. Given these considerations, we look forward to having a special session in November to consider the FY21 budget, as well as a special election soon after to vote on this year’s bond initiatives.

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The leader of the parliamentary minority Blake Filippi

The Republican House caucus issues a response criticizing the delay and questioning their leadership:

Today’s decision to delay resolving our yawning fiscal hole, rather than doing the hard work now, is an abdication by the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Speaker of the Senate of their core responsibilities to citizens. of Rhode Island. For them to kick the box until after the November election is a cynical effort to avoid electoral accountability for the unsustainable public finances they have created over the years.

Since April, Republicans have called on the General Assembly to come together and find solutions to close the projected budget deficit of $ 900 million and to provide budget oversight during the pandemic. Instead, the scope of our leaders’ action has been to want a federal bailout and to keep the federal funds from the CARES Act that should have been used to modernize our schools to allow for in-person learning and to help small businesses in difficulty who are obliged to be close. Waiting another two months to fill that budget hole will only increase the pain the Rhode Islanders will face.

Republicans have called for spending reforms for years to deal with our unsustainable government spending spree. Sadly, our prediction that we would not be prepared for a recession has come true and our leaders still fail to recognize it.

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