In a development unheard of in recent history, the Rhode Island House of Representations ended a 10-hour budget session Wednesday without approving a spending plan. The budget remains 13 million dollars out of balance due to a rare defeat for House leaders.
House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins the Roundtable this week to discuss his expectations on the budget; whether the state should pay back moral obligation bonds related to 38 Studios; what the General Assembly will accomplish this year to boost the economy; and more.
Residents and merchants in the East Bay are sharply opposing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Local lawmakers have joined them in asserting the tolls will hurt the economy in communities near the bridge.
Robert A. Walsh Jr., executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; conflicting views on economic development; the debate over defaulting on bonds for 38 Studios; and Council 94's hiring of a prominent critic of state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
By overwhelming margins, the Rhode Island House of Representatives Tuesday passed a half-dozen bills to change the state’s approach to economic development.
One bill would try to create a more streamlined effort through a new Executive Office of Commerce. Another bill replaces the state Economic Development Corporation with a Commerce Corporation headed by a secretary of commerce.
It is not yet clear precisely how the state will move forward.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected, this Tuesday, to approve a package of bills reshaping the state’s approach to economic development. House Speaker Gordon Fox and Governor Lincoln Chafee differ on how to move forward.
One of the House bills would replace the state Economic Development Corporation with a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. It would establish a secretary of commerce, with the idea of making one person responsible for pursuing economic development.
While Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat might be utterly unsurprising to some, the governor's move nonetheless scrambled the landscape for what already looked like a riveting election fight next year. That's why Chafee leads my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (and) org and to follow me on Twitter. Let's go:
State Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket) joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Dan McGowan of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat; the way forward for economic development, and legislative questions.