Rhode Island has long been engaged in a debate about government benefits for the poor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our state isn’t as generous as most other New England states on helping those with less.
House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has heard the complaints for years from conservatives and some elements of the business community: That Rhode Island’s overly generous social welfare programs handcuff taxpayers and harm the state’s business climate.
Legislative leaders opened the new General Assembly session yesterday by pledging to focus on jobs and education.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed unanimously won re-election to their leadership posts. Mattiello began his chamber’s 2015 session by vowing to keep a continued focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello won his first full two-year term as speaker on a unanimous vote.
UPDATE: This was approved: Rhode Island’s low-skill minimum wage workers will very likely get a wage increase under legislation that the Rhode Island House is poised to approve before the end of the current legislative session.
The measure would jump the state’s floor wage for workers from the current $8 per hour to $9 on January 1, 2015. Such legislation has been approved by the state Senate and the House Labor Committee and has been posted for action by the full House tomorrow.
After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island, the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.
In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.