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Wed February 5, 2003
Governor Proposes Some Spending Increases
By Martha Bebinger
Providence – Governor Carcieri promised more jobs, better education, and a reduced budget deficit in his State of the State speech yesterday all without raising taxes. Although his plan is ambitious for a State facing a projected 200 million dollar budget deficit and tough economic times, Carcieri is confident that such investments now will improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in the future.
Members of the Rhode Island education and business communities give Carcieri's education platform, overall, high marks. Citing Carcieri's commitment to professional development and small learning communities.
"He understands that you have to have smaller schools within schools, you got to have more professional development with teachers. The other things can fall into place. But the resources have to be there and when we do that I'm confident that student achievement will improve, said Larry Purtill," President of the National Education Association of Rhode Island.
Carcieri also pledged to help fund a bio-tech lab and training center at the University of Rhode Island, and to the creation of new jobs, especially in technology.
"First and foremost are jobs. We must do what we've never done before, and that is set ambitious goals for job growth and challenge ourselves to meet them. Our goal is to create 20-thousand good pay-jobs in the next four years. It will focus all of our attention," said Carcieri
Carcieri is confident such investments can be made without raising taxes by addressing inefficiency and cost of government.
"It's all about choices. One of the major problems we face is the cost of operating state government," he said.
Although pleased with the plan, General Assembly leaders stressed that they needed to see the details of the plan for its feasibility. Carcieri will create a committee to study the efficiency of government and make recommendations for cost cutting.