Governor Gina Raimondo plans to sign the budget Tuesday for the state’s next fiscal year. The spending plan includes two of the governor’s top priorities.

Governor Raimondo says the budget will help put people back to work, fix schools, and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island. The spending plan includes money for economic incentives meant to spark job growth, and it also cuts spending on the Medcaid subsidizied healthcare program for the poor.

Thanks for stopping by. The legislative year is almost over -- the traditional part, anyway -- but the political world always keeps spinning. I welcome your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.


House lawmakers will vote next week on an $8.7 billion dollar state budget. More than a third of it pays for health care and other related services. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joined host Dave Fallon in the studio to walk through some of the highlights. Listen to the audio or read a transcript of their conversation, below.

DAVE: Kristin, welcome. So a major centerpiece of the budget is Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan to quote “Reinvent Medicaid.” Recap for us what that’s about and tell us, did she get what she wanted?


House lawmakers have voted to pass an $8.7 billion dollar budget that restores some proposed cuts and adds money for education and economic development.

House finance committee members voted to include many of Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposals to streamline Medicaid and spur business and job growth.  But the budget that now heads to the full House for a vote is $37 million dollars richer than her original ask, thanks to a rosier state revenue picture. House fiscal advisor Sharon Reynolds Ferland gave lawmakers the bottom line.

On Tuesday, two Rhode Island House committees will take another close look at Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budgets for Medicaid and the state’s health and human services agency. The Senate heard similar proposals last week.

The hearings offer another opportunity for public testimony and committee members’ questions before the budgets hit the full House and Senate for consideration.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to deliver his first budget address Wednesday. The capital city is facing a sizeable deficit.

The budget hole could be as large as $23 million. That’s a lot less than the deficit former Mayor Angel Taveras called a fiscal hurricane, but it’s still a significant gap to fill.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has pledged to cultivate broad-based economic growth, while holding the line against tax increases. Complicating the outlook is the fact that Providence needs to negotiate new contracts for teachers and municipal workers.

RIPR file photo

Lawmakers have begun the process of estimating how much money the state can spend in 2016 (through the Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference).  They’ll hear a series of presentations over the next couple of weeks on projected revenues and spending so far this year. They use the information as they consider Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget.

Is Rhode Island spending more than other states caring for the elderly? Or not enough?

(See update, below, plus a reminder: the final Reinvent Medicaid public town hall meeting is scheduled for tonight at 6 pm at the East Bay Family Health Center in Newport.)

That's a question that's come up for debate at the recent "Reinventing Medicaid" town hall meetings around the state, and in statements from groups with a stake in the outcome of Gov. Gina Raimondo's plans to trim nearly $180 million dollars in state (and federal) Medicaid spending.


Legislative finance committees are set to start holding hearings Tuesday on details of Governor Gina Raimondo’s first budget. The governor’s spending plan has attracted both praise and criticism.

The House and Senate finance committees stage weeks of hearings to review different aspects of the annual budget. Supporters and opponents of different programs turn out to testify, in an attempt to sway lawmakers.


Happy Budget Week, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week long on the twitters. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday touted her $8.6 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 as a plan that will begin the rejuvenation of Rhode Island's economy.

At the same time, some parts of the spending plan rely on uncertainties, including $46 million in unspecified Medicaid savings and the wiping out of millions of dollars in un-budgeted pay hikes promised to state employees during the Chafee administration.

Don Borman

  Gov. Gina Raimondo gave her first State of the State address last night, unveiling her first budget.

Explore the governor's budget online.

Here's the full text of Gov. Gina Raimondo's budget address, given Thursday evening in the Statehouse.

Speaker Mattiello, Senate President Paiva Weed, Members of the General Assembly, the Judiciary, the Cabinet, City and Town Leaders, and my fellow Rhode Islanders.

Good Evening. It is an honor to stand before you to address how we can work together to expand opportunities for all Rhode Islanders and create jobs.

Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to deliver her first State of The State address tonight. The address will give Rhode Islanders their first look at the governor’s spending priorities for the coming fiscal year.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island faces a big financial gap as Governor Gina Raimondo prepares to unveil her first budget Thursday. State law requires a balanced spending plan, and Raimondo has pledged to improve Rhode Island’s economy while wiping out the red ink. But that will be no easy task.