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.” 

 

 

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