house finance committee


Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Rhode Island, and one of those primaries will fill a House seat formerly held by Ray Gallison. The Democrat resigned under a law enforcement probe likely to include legislative grants, given to an organization with Gallison on the payroll. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay discussed the race with News Director Elisabeth Harrison.


The House Finance Committee is slated to get an update on the state budget Wednesday. The committee will hear about state departments with higher than expected spending.

The good news is that the state is expected to close the current fiscal year next June with a surplus of $51 million.

But some state departments overspend their budgets each year, for a variety of reasons. The Department of Corrections, for example, says there’s no way to predict how many inmates have to be housed at the ACI.

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.


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.


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.


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.


The House Finance Committee is slated to meet Thursday to review the condition of state budget. The state will face a deficit for the next fiscal year.


The usual special interest groups are blasting the new state budget approved by the General Assembly. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says maybe lawmakers did  the best they could in tough times.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved an $8.7 billion taxing and spending plan for the financial year that begins July First. This budget has drawn fire from the usual suspects who roam the marble Statehouse corridors lobbying for their causes.

Education leaders are raising concerns over the House Finance Committee’s proposed budget. The budget fully funds the state’s formula for providing education aid, but there’s no funding for school construction.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote this Thursday on a new state budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. The General Assembly traditionally makes significant revisions to the governor’s proposed spending plan.

UPDATE: Skenyon began working in Mattiello's office today, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

With rumors dancing through the Statehouse corridors of power, new House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has yet to reveal his leadership team. Which isn’t unusual, considering he wasn’t formally elected speaker until about an hour ago.


The House Finance Committee will meet this afternoon to review attempts to rein in spending in different state agencies.

Spending above budgeted amounts has been an issue in some different state departments in recent years. The agencies in question include the state Department of Corrections and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.

The heads of those two departments have in the past attributed the higher than expected spending to overtime and other unpredictable expenses.

As tonight’s budget debate in the R.I. House creaks along, some sharp-eyed lawmakers should be asking  some hard questions about the item for a capital budget request of more than $3 million to purchase a vacant lot near the State House wedged between the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the state employee credit union building. . The provision was put in by Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration and originally proposed paying $3.5 million for the land, according to fiscal analysis done by House financial staffers.