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.
The secretary of state’s office will hold a lottery Friday to determine the ballot placement of names for a special primary election in Woonsocket. Four candidates are competing in the January 21st primary for the state rep seat formerly held by state Rep Lisa Baldelli-Hunt.
Baldelli-Hunt resigned her state rep seat after winning election as mayor of Woonsocket last month. The primary election could decide who succeeds Baldelli-Hunt, since the four candidates are all Democrats.
A legislative task force created in the last General Assembly session to examine the intersection of gun violence and mental health issues has yet to meet. The panel is unlikely to meet a January deadline for reporting its findings.
The head of the state Republican Party is blaming legislative Democrats for failing to improve Rhode Island’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate climbed by a tenth of percent in July, to 8.9 percent.
State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders are wrong to brag about their efforts when the unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction.
On a 40-25 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impose a 10-cent toll on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The move comes after the House last week delayed plans for tolls on the bridge.
Lawmakers said they reversed course because a federal requirement bans the addition of new tolls once a bridge is substantially complete. One opponent of tolls, Tiverton Representative John Edwards, said he hopes the Sakonnet toll might still be eliminated in the future.