RI’s Monthlong Budget Impasse And How It Got Resolved

Aug 3, 2017

Rhode Island’s budget impasse is expected to come to an end Thursday afternoon when the state Senate votes on a spending plan for the fiscal year that began July first.


The budget feud is due in part to a dispute over a planned phaseout of the state car tax, a top priority of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

But some state Senators expressed concern about the phaseout’s sustainability. That’s because the state backtracked on a move to kill the car tax back in the 90s. So the Senate amended the state budget to include a future review of the phaseout. And the House responded by going home rather than voting on the spending plan for the fiscal year.

Now, the Senate plans to approve the House budget without a car tax amendment. And both chambers intend to pass a separate bill requiring updates, starting in 2021, on the phaseout’s sustainability.

Rhode Island’ Public Radio’s Ian Donnis joins Elisabeth Harrison to go over the monthlong budget negotiations between lawmakers.