State Republicans Point to Democrats as Unemployment Rises

Aug 20, 2013

The head of the state Republican Party is blaming legislative Democrats for failing to improve Rhode Island’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate climbed by a tenth of percent in July, to 8.9 percent.

State Republican leaders say Democrats have done little to ease Rhode Island's increasing unemployment.

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders are wrong to brag about their efforts when the unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction.

Smiley was referring to how House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed used a recent opinion piece to claim credit for establishing a quote “vibrant economic environment.” In reality, Smiley says, the ruling legislative Democrats made just minor tweaks to try to improve the economy.

Fox’s spokesman, Larry Berman, said Smiley is off-base with his criticism. Berman says the legislature took significant steps to restructure the state’s approach to economic development. He says the state is building a foundation for sustainable growth.

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