The House Finance Committee Tuesday passed an $8.2 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The spending plan doesn’t include any new broad-based taxes and wipes out some of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s initiatives.
With little debate, the budget passed its first hurdle on a 12-to-zero vote, with two Republican lawmakers abstaining. The spending plan reduces proposed help for distressed communities and eliminates Chafee’s plan to cut the corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over time. House Finance Chairman Helio Melo said lawmakers had to work with what they had.
State lawmakers continue to meet behind closed doors as they prepare to unveil their changes to the budget introduced by Governor Lincoln Chafee. The legislative spending plan will be vetted Tuesday by the House Finance Committee.
Filling a budget hole of about 30 million dollars is the top challenge facing lawmakers. The deficit is a result of lower than expected state revenues. Linda Katz of the liberal Center for Economic Progress is concerned that social programs for the needy may take a hit when legislators try to clear the red ink.
Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss the 2014 race for treasurer; Governor Lincoln Chafee's recent judicial nominations; lower-than-expected state revenues; and the trio of controversies facing President Obama.
The outlook for Rhode Island’s next state budget will come into sharper view when the latest revenue data is discussed this morning.
The annual revenue estimating conference takes place twice a year, in November and May. It’s when legislative staffers offer their estimates of state revenues, based on taxes and other sources of income.
The latest revenue estimates are then used by the General Assembly when it makes revisions to the governor’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July first.