P3 PayGo Testimony, House Finance 2/4/16

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Transcript:

Good evening. My name is Justin Katz.  I’m the research director for the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

The amazing thing about infrastructure, and this whole issue, is that we’ve got roads that need repair, we’ve got workers who want to repair them, we’ve got a public that wants to pay to fix the roads — the problem is we’ve got special interests who already have the money we’re already paying to fix the ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, December 2015: Late 2015 Shed Much of Early 2015’s Gains

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With the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS’s) release of preliminary December employment data for Rhode Island and the country, a sense of the year (and the likely revisions forthcoming) comes into focus. In December, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped once again, to 5.1%, from 5.2% in November, bringing the string of decreases to 29 straight months.

Once again, though, the apparent improvement came only because the employment drop (of 371 people) ...

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Rhode Island NAEP in Context: Improvement Hit Ceiling in 2011

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HALT IN EDUCATION REFORM PRODUCED DROP IN STUDENT TEST SCORES. Every two years, the National Center for Education Statistics releases state-level results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Since 2001, the federal government has required all states receiving Title I funding (that is, all states) to conduct the tests in reading and mathematics at the fourth and eighth grade levels. NAEP, also known as “the nation’s report card,” is therefore the most accurate tool for ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, November 2015: Expected Down Note as Last Report of the Year

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The trend that has come to define Rhode Island’s employment picture in 2015 (indeed, since the end of the recession) continued for the final Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report for the year. In November, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, from 5.3% in October. That’s 28 straight months of decreases in the rate of at least one-tenth of one percent. As usual, however, the positive rate resulted from ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, October 2015: Two Losses Don’t Make a Gain

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For yet another month, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped, from 5.4% in September, to 5.3% in September, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And for yet another month, that positive outcome resulted from two negative results. Employment actually dropped by 630 people, but 1,636 Rhode Islanders gave up looking. Meanwhile, jobs based in the state increased by a mere 100 after a sizable drop the ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, September 2015: Growth Stops in Employment and Jobs

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Once again, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dropped, from 5.7% in August, to 5.4% in September, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That was, however, a silver lining built on an entirely dark cloud. Employment actually dropped by 521 people, but 1,860 Rhode Islanders gave up looking. At the same time, the number of jobs based in the state fell by 1,800 — for a total ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, July 2015: RI the Gem of the Southern New England Economy

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With another drop in unemployment, to 5.8%, July was another banner month for the Rhode Island economy, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That showing was on the strength of a 1,299 gain in the workforce from revised numbers for June and a 2,086 increase in employment.

As the first chart below shows, 2015 has brought an unabated boom in employiment, in Rhode Island — at least ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, June 2015: RI Bucks Southern New England Trend?

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The June employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a good lesson in a number of the ways in which the data can be misleading. For one thing, looking at the unemployment rate, one could say that Rhode Island dipped below 6% for the first time since November 2007. Of course, one could have said the same thing last month. But the BLS revised May up ...

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Making RhodeWorks Work for Rhode Islanders

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As an alternative option to fund repairs of the Ocean State’s crumbling bridge and road infrastructure, a “pay as you go” approach that prioritizes current general revenue in the budget would provide budget certainty and save over half a billion dollars in wasteful, non-productive financing and overhead costs for Rhode Islanders, compared with Governor Gina Raimondo’s RhodeWorks plan, which increases Rhode Island’s debt burden and tolls the trucking industry to pay for it.

Specific savings that can be achieved by adopting ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, May 2015: Hockey Sticks and Cliff Jumping

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The headline news is that Rhode Island’s unemployment rate dipped below 6% in May for the first time since November 2007, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For some perspective, a fifth grader grinding out the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the Ocean State’s unemployment rate left the 5-6% range behind was preparing to graduate from high school when it slipped the other way.

Improvement in Rhode ...

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