General Dynamics

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s building trades unions attended the annual shareholders’ meeting of General Dynamics to protest what the unions consider to be a lack of hiring union workers and Rhode Island military for jobs building the expansion project at the Electric Boat submarine-building venue at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The president of Electric Boat said there is opportunity ahead for the submarine maker. But there’s concern about the future of federal funding.

In his forecast to lawmakers, Electric Boat President Jeff Geiger said declining defense budgets and cuts out of Washington create an uncertain environment for the company.

file / RIPR

General Dynamics has landed a $17.6 billion Navy contract to build submarines. The Virginia-class subs will be built at Electric Boat in Quonset Point. General Dynamics spokesman Bob Hamilton said this contract involves ten submarines, starting construction over the next five years at a rate of two per year.

It isn’t a surprise that Rhode Island’s Republican Party is having a difficult time finding a credible candidate to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

Reed first won election to the U.S. House in 1990 and moved up to the Senate after the retirement of Sen. Claibone Pell. Reed has never lost an election and in recent campaigns has had easier and easier opponents.

file / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was running his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

A special tax break deal  for large manufacturing companies that critics asserted was a giveaway to submarine manufacturer Electric Boat was withdrawn during last night’s  Rhode Island House debate over the $8.2 billion state budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

At this time of the RI General Assembly session every year, when the State House gets as hot as a sauna and the rhetoric boils over, lawmakers are confronted with money items tucked into the arcane language of the state budget that don’t seem to have received much discussion but have an impact on state taxpayers.

One that for the most part has dropped below the media radar is what appears to be some very favorable treatment for a huge defense contractor that doesn’t really need state financial help, the Electric Boat division of General  Dynamics.