The last budget crafted by former Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration and the General Assembly seems to be holding up fairly well, according to the latest revenue assessment by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.
The official state bean-counters say that adjusted total general revenues are up about $61 million more than expected in the current budget year, which ends on June 30. This is good news for a state that has been slowly emerging from the recession.
The 2.6 percent increase in revenues is fueled by increases in the personal income tax and the corporate tax.
Rhode Island’s foundering economic is again the top Statehouse topic. Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts as we at Rhode Island Public Radio kickoff our series on our state’s slow recession recovery.
If Rhode Island was a lake, we’d all be drowning under the weight of decades of reports and high falutin expert commissions charged with dissecting our state’s economic doldrums. Wonks, business leaders, academics and consultants have produced turgid chronicles – with scant results – on how to heal the sickest economy in New England.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.
Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.
What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.
Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.
When he visits Rhode Island Friday, President Barack Obama will speak about the improving national economy and the latest Gross Domestic Product data that was released today by the federal government.
Obama is scheduled to arrive at Green State Airport this evening and stay overnight in Providence. While the White House is not disclosing where the president will stay, sources in Providence say it will be the Omni Hotel downtown, which is attached to the Rhode Island Convention Center.