When Gov. Lincoln Chafee and gay marriage advocates two years ago touted its economic benefits for Rhode Island they were widely disparaged. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why Chafee and his allies may well be right.
The Rhode Island House resumed the budget debate Wednesday afternoon. It's the second day that followed an unusual defeat for House Speaker Gordon Fox which sent the state's spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 into uncertainty.
On Wednesday the House voted 67-4 on a bill that freezes tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge until February 1, 2014. The legislation also creates a commission to study how East Bay bridges are funded. And a provision in the House budget blocks any toll hikes for Newport's Pell Bridge.
A special tax break deal for large manufacturing companies that critics asserted was a giveaway to submarine manufacturer Electric Boat was withdrawn during last night’s Rhode Island House debate over the $8.2 billion state budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
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.
More bad news for Rhode Island gambling venues: Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino has announced a major retail expansion at its flagship property in Uncasville, Conn. The new retail destination will have 200,000 square feet of entertainment, shopping and dining. The new facility will be located next to the Winter Garage. Construction is slated to begin later and the space is scheduled to open in early 2015.
At this time of the RI General Assembly session every year, when the State House gets as hot as a sauna and the rhetoric boils over, lawmakers are confronted with money items tucked into the arcane language of the state budget that don’t seem to have received much discussion but have an impact on state taxpayers.
One that for the most part has dropped below the media radar is what appears to be some very favorable treatment for a huge defense contractor that doesn’t really need state financial help, the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics.
The General Assembly heads into the home stretch, with a House budget vote set for Tuesday. On that note, welcome back to my weekly column. Your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (org), and follow me on Twitter. Here we go:
Will Rhode Island ever get beyond the shadow of the 38 Studios-Curt Schilling disaster. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why state government so far has not developed options for putting this behind us.
President John F. Kennedy said famously that ``life is unfair.’’ Some men,’’ he noted, ‘’are killed in a war, some men are wounded and some men never leave the country.’’