Local Think Tank Calls For Millions In Cuts To State Spending

Apr 2, 2014

A conservative-leaning think tank says Rhode Island spends more than 220 million dollars each year on what it calls non-essential state services.  The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity says cutting this spending would improve Rhode Island’s economy.

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity recommends more than $200 million dollars in cuts state spending.

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity says its new report identifies spending that doesn’t benefit most of Rhode Island’s population. The head of the center, Mike Stenhouse, says the more than $200 million in annual expenses could instead be directed to tax cuts, infrastructure improvements, and chipping away at the state’s perennial budget deficits.

"We have to start having a new spending culture up there and what this report does I think can be a first step in changing the spend and tax culture that has been so pervasive on Smith Hill for recent decades and which we believe has made our state one of the weakest job markets and economies in the entire country," said Stenhouse.

Stenhouse said the cuts targeted by his center don’t include human services. But the think tank does call for eliminating historic tax credits, $20 million in state overtime costs, and the legislative grants distributed by lawmakers to community groups, among many other things.

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