Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.
Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.
What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.
Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.
When he visits Rhode Island Friday, President Barack Obama will speak about the improving national economy and the latest Gross Domestic Product data that was released today by the federal government.
Obama is scheduled to arrive at Green State Airport this evening and stay overnight in Providence. While the White House is not disclosing where the president will stay, sources in Providence say it will be the Omni Hotel downtown, which is attached to the Rhode Island Convention Center.
The major candidates for Rhode Island governor have spent much of their campaigns focused on the economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what they aren’t telling voters.
All of the Rhode Island political campaigns this year are talking about our state’s sluggish economy. In the governor’s contest between Republican Allan Fung, the Cranston mayor, and Democrat Gina Raimondo, the state treasurer, jobs and the economy often seem to be the only topic.
It has become a Rhode Island cliché that Lincoln Chafee is a failed governor because he hasn’t done enough to create jobs in Rhode Island’s flagging economy. This notion has been driven relentlessly by talk radio shills and the editorial and news pages of the state’s legacy print media outlets, some of which are groping for relevance in a reshaped media environment.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Marcel Valois, executive director of Commerce Rhode Island, will embark on a European trade mission that will be focused on meeting with executives of companies that have expressed an interest in establishing operations in Rhode Island.
Chafee’s press office issued a statement saying that these company executive officials are interested in Rhode Island due to the state’s ``proximity to Europe, as well as the location in the busy northeast corridor and the convenience of TF Green Airport, industrial ports and rail and highway transportation systems.’’
It seems sometimes like every Rhode Island business and political leader points to the better economy in Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looked across the state border and finds more myth than reality.