budget

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Do voters really want substance in their candidates?

Flo Jonic / RIPR

U.S Senator Jack Reed said the deal ending the partial government shutdown in the U.S. is long overdue.

“It should have not been contemplated or undertaken in the first place and now we have to get down to real, serious, principled negotiations.”

He added that he hopes the partial shutdown hasn’t caused lasting harm to relationships formed across the aisle in the senate.

RIPR

Every year, when Rhode Island lawmakers start working on a new budget, they face a spending plan mired in red ink. By law, the budget must be balanced by the end of the legislative session, usually in June. But like a boomerang, projected budget deficits zoom back to Smith Hill by the time the new session starts in January. Next year will no different -- Rhode Island already faces the fiscal year starting in July 2014 with an estimated $149 million hole. And the state lacks a plan for overcoming budget deficits that are projected to get far worse with time.

Rhode Island’s two US senators say the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester are having a negative effect across the Ocean State.  Reports, the impact of those cuts was the focus of a forum in Providence Wednesday.

Rhode Island Housing, which recently lost 30 employees partly due to federal spending cuts, was the site of the forum hosted by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Rhode Island continues to face onerous budget deficits for the near future -- from $149.2 million for the fiscal year starting in July 2014 to $410 million in FY 2018, according to a new five-year analysis by the state Budget Office.

The cascade of red ink will place pressure on lawmakers to find fresh spending cuts, even as new casinos in Massachusetts are expected to cut into one of Rhode Island's top revenue sources -- gambling. The legal challenge to the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system poses another possible wild card.

A group of citizens has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in an attempt to stop a supplemental tax increase in Woonsocket.  Woonsocket officials hope to use the tax to overcome a persistent budget crisis.

But the lawsuit filed on behalf of several taxpayers claims the supplemental tax doesn’t comply with the General Assembly legislation that authorized it. The legislation was based on Woonsocket being able to reach almost 4 million dollars in other budget savings. But the suit says that since almost 3 million of the savings are subject to legal action, that may never be realized.

Associated Press reporter David Klepper joins the Roundtable this week as discuss the budget passed this week by the House Finance Committee; debate over repaying bonds for 38 Studios; and some of the big unresolved issues facing the General Assembly.

Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block says the speed with which the House Finance Committee votes on an $8.2 billion budget -- just hours after learning the details -- is a backwards way of doing things.

As Block notes in a news release, Tuesday's committee vote on the budget stands in contrast to the typical hearing process:

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has submitted a new budget proposal with no tax increases.  Fung says Cranston has stabilized city finances with help from public safety contract concessions and careful spending.  He points to the growth of businesses like the Alex and Ani jewelry company as proof that Cranston is now seeing an economic expansion.  

"The city of Cranston is not only stable from the initiatives we have put into place these last four years, but now we are experiencing real growth," Fung says.  

Central Avenue, East Providence, RI
Aaron Read / RIPR

The City of East Providence says there are just a few more details to button up before it waves good-bye to the Budget Commission that’s been overseeing city finances. A state-appointed finance officer will step in next.

T.F. Green Airport Security Gate
Catherine Welch / RIPR

The list of potential implications to RI is long if the so-called sequestration kicks in:  from longer lines at the airport to job loss to less educational research.  Scott MacKay reviews what might be in our future. 

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb 18, 2013

This is the 10th anniversary of the fatal Station Nightclub fire.  Congressman David cicilline is asking the House Speaker to keep Congress in session until federal budget negotiations are finished.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News podcast.  Then Scott MacKay explains why getting rid of the one-party lever will not fix RI's election woes.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feb 5, 2013

House lawmakers consider an e-verify bill for employers.  The General Assembly begins hearings this week on the state's budget for next year. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast. 


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org
 

RI State Capitol
RIPR file

Legislative committees are set Tuesday to begin reviewing Governor Lincoln Chafee’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting in July. This is one of many meetings where lawmakers will hash over the budget.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jan 29, 2013
Gate at Brown University
RIPR file

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras delivers his State of the City address this evening.  Treasurer Gina Raimondo says she has cleared out a backlog related to the crime victims compensation program.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

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