house finance committee

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on the budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. As is usually the case the House makes some changes to the spending plan introduced by the governor.

The House Finance budget is not expected to include truck tolls proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo to help pay for bridge improvements. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says more information is needed about the plan. The budget does include funding for HealthSource RI, the state’s version of Obamacare, as well as economic incentives meant to spark economic growth.

Rhode Island House leaders say they plan to restore more than $2 million taken out of the governor’s budget to pay for private school bussing and text books.

House Finance Committee Chair Raymond Gallison Jr., recalls the funding was helpful to his family when his two sons were in private school.

“They got the bus. I went one way, my wife went another way and getting to the private school that they were going to, this certainly was something that was of great assistance to us,” said Gallison.

RIPR FILE

Legislative finance committees are set to start holding hearings Tuesday on details of Governor Gina Raimondo’s first budget. The governor’s spending plan has attracted both praise and criticism.

The House and Senate finance committees stage weeks of hearings to review different aspects of the annual budget. Supporters and opponents of different programs turn out to testify, in an attempt to sway lawmakers.

RIPR FILE

The full house has approved a bill allowing Twin River Casino to build a hotel  on its property.  Twin River wants the hotel to compete with proposed casinos in Massachusetts.

The restriction that keeps Twin River from building a hotel was originally put in place to protect Providence area hotels from losing business.  But now Massachusetts plans to open three casinos and a slot parlor, threatening Twin River’s revenue.  Twin River officials have unveiled a proposal to build a four story hotel on their Lincoln property.

RIPR FILE

Efforts to eliminate a $66 million deficit in the current state budget will be the subject of a House Finance Committee meeting this Thursday; and more red ink is forecast for the next fiscal year.

The Finance Committee plans to hear from state department directors about attempts to cut higher-than-expected spending.  Spending in some departments can rise unexpectedly, for example, due to fluctuations in the inmate population at the state prison or overtime by state workers.

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