The Raimondo administration is heaping additional burdens on employers by doling out tens of millions of their hard-earned tax dollars to Infosys.

Statement on Infosys Announcement: Small Businesses Should Be the Focus

Pro Small Business Measures Would Benefit Ocean State More than Infosys-Type Corporate Welfare

Federal Tax Reforms Could Open Door for Real Economic Growth

Providence, RI – Just days after touting “Small Business Saturday” the Raimondo administration has heaped additional tax burdens on employers and taxpayers in the Ocean State by doling out tens of millions of their hard-earned dollars to Infosys. Today’s announcement of yet another astro-turf corporate welfare scheme underscores how little is being done to nurture small business employers, who account for well over 90% of all jobs in the state.

Ironically, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity points out that it may be reforms in Washington, DC … often the target of scorn by the Governor … that could be the main reason behind the Infosys announcement, and that may spur real, grass-rootseconomic growth.

“There is little doubt in my mind that the primary reason why Infosys is now locating more jobs in America is because of the easing of federal regulations that we have seen this year,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “If Congress next passes its Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, companies won’t need taxpayer-funded hand-outs to decide to become established and to flourish in our state.”

The Center has long-maintained that Rhode Island’s corporate welfare based economic development strategy, like the Infosys deal, is not sufficient to spur robust economic growth and jobs creation. Instead, the Center has advocated that broad-based tax and regulator reforms – that will lessen burdens every business in our state – are the only means by which more and better companies will produce more and better-paying jobs.

“The Infosys deal does nothing to improve our state’s dismal business climate and will help very few Rhode Islanders,” continued Stenhouse. “Interestingly, while statewide legislative leaders continue to hamper small business growth, it may be the federal government that will take concrete steps to actually improve the climate for all small and large businesses.

“According to the Center, corporate welfare schemes will do little to alleviate the problems suffered by Rhode Island employers and families … as exemplified by bottom-10 national rankings in such broad-based indexes as: overall state business climate, Family Prosperity Index, Jobs & Opportunity Index, occupational licensing burdens, and the recently released poverty report.

The Ocean State is left in 49th place, nationally, on the Center's October 2017 Jobs & Opportunity Index. Eight of twelve datapoints have been updated.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), October 2017: A Mixed Report for the Wrong Reasons

Covering a two-month span, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) for October includes new numbers for eight of 12 datapoints, leaving the Ocean State in 49th place, nationally. The results are somewhat mixed, with some improved and some worsened, but it isn’t clear that the improvements indicate positive changes rather than peculiarities of the data and a reflection of the state’s ongoing problems with its Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP).

Employment was down 1,457 from the previously recorded number, while labor force fell 1,920. Also negative was the 3,900 drop in RI-based jobs, suggesting that it isn’t just a quirk of the survey. Medicaid continued its climb, although the 443-person increase wasn’t as high as in past months. One of the apparent improvements came via SNAP (food stamps), with a 392-enrollee drop, but the state’s well-reported problems providing the benefit may indicate that the decrease isn’t based on Rhode Islanders’ need, but on the government’s incompetence.

Also on the positive side, long-term unemployment, marginally attached workers, and people working only part-time involuntarily all fell (by 1,800, 400, and 3,100, respectively). However, these results could derive from the survey methodology and by workers’ just giving up, as seen in the labor force reduction.

The first chart below shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 49th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. In thier close back and forth, Vermont edged out Maine, putting them in 16th and 17th place, respectively. Massachusetts stayed put, at 31st, while Connecticut fell three spots to 39th.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us to bring you the monthly Jobs & Opportunity Index to fight the union-progressive narrative and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. In both cases, RI’s gap worsened. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap slimmed slightly. Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI improved 12 places, to 21st.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI remained 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI remained 47th.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us to bring you the monthly Jobs & Opportunity Index to fight the union-progressive narrative and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

With the lawyer for the Rhode Island Board of Elections (BOE) all but admitting that the state has not been in compliance with federal law since the BOE adopted a controversial 2008 regulation, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls for the immediate removal of any BOE official that was involved with that unlawful 2008 decision.

Center Calls for Four RI Board Of Elections Officials to Step Down as Violation of Federal Election Law Now Clear

BOE Officials Involved in Unlawful 2008 Rules Change Should Step Down or Be Removed

Renewed calls for independent investigation,
House & Senate Oversight hearings

Providence, RI – With the lawyer for the RI Board of Elections (BOE) all but admitting that the state has not been in compliance with federal law since the BOE adopted a controversial 2008 regulation, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls for the immediate removal of any BOE official that was involved with that unlawful 2008 decision.

At its Monday meeting, the BOE board directed its lawyer to propose fixes to the loophole created in 2008, which no longer required proper identification for those registering, in person, to vote … as required by 2003 federal law.

The Center asserts that current BOE attorney, Raymond Marcaccio (BOE legal council in 2008), current BOE commissioner, Richard Pierce (BOE commissioner in 2008), and current BOE Executive Director, Robert Rapoza (BOE director of elections in 2008) have demonstrated incompetence in allowing Rhode Island’s voter registration process to fail to comply with federal law … and therefore should no longer maintain their positions of responsibility.

The Center also calls on current BOE commissioner Steve Erickson to be removed, given his publicly stated reluctance to bringing the RI BOE into compliance with federal law.

“Despite baseless attacks against Ken Block, it turns out that his research was accurate,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Now that we know federal law was effectively bypassed in 2008, justice is demanded by holding accountable those people responsible. It is now more obvious than ever that formal inquiries need to be launched.”

The core question raised in recent months by Ken Block, and the subject of a complaint he filed with the US Department of Justice, is whether or not the State of Rhode Island has been in compliance with federal election law (HAVA). That answer, as confirmed by the BOE attorney himself, now appears to be YES … however the status of any federal investigation is unknown.

Given these developments, the Center again renews its call for an independent investigation be initiated by the Governor and for the House and Senate Oversight Committees to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential unlawful registration and voting guidelines and practices.

“No longer can state officials stick their heads in the sand and pretend that serious malfeasance at the BOE has not occurred. Executive and legislative branch leaders should immediately move to have responsible parties relieved of their positions,” continued Stenhouse. “In further demanding accountability, I challenge the Governor, our US Congressional delegation, and all candidates for such offices to demand that investigations be initiated so that Rhode Islanders can know who else may have been complicit, and why.”

The Center also demands that the damage inflicted by this evasion of federal law be remedied by proactively and verifiably backfilling missing voter registration information. The related announcement made yesterday by Secretary Of State, Nellie Gorbea, appears to be an inadequate approach.

Earlier this fall, The Ocean State Current (The Current) published an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration.

The Center has recommended additional items be investigated and that further potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:

  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle
In September, Block released 2016 voting research showing that every Rhode Island city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law, in addition to his complaint to the Justice Department – both can be viewed here.
According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that in every city and town in the Ocean State … at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.
By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47943348

Statement on President Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2017

Ocean Staters, Families, and Businesses To Benefit

Promise of Tax Cuts and Opportunities for Bigger Paychecks Superior to State’s Current Corporate Welfare Strategy

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity praises the tax reform plan released today by the US House of Representatives as one that will benefit Rhode Islanders in multiple ways.

With every Ocean Stater to receive a tax cut – about $1200 for middle-income families and more for those with higher earnings – and with businesses to be similarly less burdened so that they can grow and produce more and better paying jobs … Rhode Islander and their families should benefit in two ways. First, by keeping more of their current paychecks in their own pockets. Second, via future increased wages and better job opportunities as the tax cuts stimulate economic growth.

“Our state’s partisan political class will no doubt trot out their standard, mindless, and divisive class warfare mantras, but having attended two national seminars to learn details of the President’s tax reform plan, I can assure the people of Rhode Island that this sweeping reform plan is indeed designed to mostly benefit the middle-class,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “It is disappointing that our state’s political leaders would choose to deny Rhode Islanders the chance to keep and make more money just because they are hung-up on an anti-jobs, tax-the-rich platform.”

The Center has regularly maintained that if more Rhode Islanders are to have more opportunities to work in better-paying jobs, then more and better businesses must be free to grow when more disposable personal and corporate income becomes available to re-invest in business enterprises.

The White House announcement today – that semi-conductor giant, Broadcom, will be investing tens of billion of dollars in research and manufacturing in the United States, creating tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs, because of the improved business climate as a result of the proposed federal tax reforms – is proof of what can happen in Rhode Island and all states.

“This free-market approach to economic development benefits far more people and creates far more growth than our state’s existing crony-socialism approach,” concluded Stenhouse.

Despite these positive aspects of the proposed national tax reforms, the Center is concerned that federal budget spending may not see deep enough cuts to pay for the individual and corporate tax cuts.

Failing to answer the question, SoS Nellie Gorbea's misleading statement serves to deepen concerns about a cover-up of RI's federal voter law compliance.

Secretary of State’s Comments on Election Integrity Misleading and Inadequate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2017

Secretary Of State Gorbea Ignores Core Question

Multiple Fabrications Serve to Deepen Concerns About a Cover-up

Providence, RI – By failing to addresses the core question, by making false assertions, and by citing irrelevant data, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity called yesterday’s statement by Secretary Of State (SOS), Nellie Gorbea, misleading and inadequate.

The core question raised in recent months by Ken Block, and the subject of a complaint he filed with the US Department of Justice, is whether or not the State of Rhode Island is currently complying with federal election law (HAVA).

The statement (below), obtained by the Center, that was issued via email by Gorbea to State Senators and to other legislative officials yesterday, fails to address this important question. The Center has repeatedly called on the SOS office and the Board Of Elections (BOE) to issue a clear and definitive statement as to whether or not the state is in compliance with federal law.

To date, no such statement has been issued by either governmental agency. Instead yesterday’s SOS statement appears to be a purposeful effort to distract from this central question.

The statement also contains other fabricated, misleading, and false allegations, all of which only enhance the perception that election officials are looking to cover-up misdeeds from the public:

  • Neither Ken Block, nor the Center, has ever alleged that any voter or vote cast was “illegitimate”
  • Ken Block did indeed “approach” people in the RI government with his “concerns” before making public statements; but such officials did not respond
  • It is a proven fact that tens of thousands of RI voters were not lawfully registered after the 2003 HAVA federal statute, and that the BOE and SOS have systematically implemented rules changes that served to bypass federal election law

As such, the Center renews its call for an independent investigation and for the House and Senate Oversight Committees to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential illegal registration and voting guidelines and practices. Last month, The Ocean State Current (The Current) published an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration. Also last month, Ken Block published research about another questionable BOE rules change in 2012 that effectively exempts anyone who votes via mail ballot or via emergency voting from state voter ID requirements.

The Center further recommends additional items be investigated and that potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:
  • Executive order or legislation requiring Rhode Island’s Secretary of State to backfill PII information for the hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that are missing this information.
  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle

In September, Block released 2016 voting research showing that every Rhode Island city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law, in addition to his complaint to the Justice Department – both can be viewed here.

According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that in every city and town in the Ocean State … at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.

 

By failing to addresses the core question, by making false assertions, and by citing irrelevant data, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity called the statement by Secretary Of State (SOS), Nellie Gorbea, misleading and inadequate on irregularities in Rhode Island's voter registration process.

Will the proposed K-12 Transgender Mandate from the Rhode Island Board of Education excluded parents from the process while excluding scientific principals?

Statement on R.I.D.E. Mandate on Transgender Protections

Center Urges Broader, Science-based Discussion on proposed K-12 Transgender Mandate

2016 Guidance Document Extends Far Beyond Discussion of Bullying and Rights

Providence, RI – Ostensibly professing to protect students from bullying and to respect all students, if the the RI Department of Education (RIDE) submits draft regulations this evening anywhere close to its June 2016 “guidance” document on transgender rights, RIDE itself will be seeking to bully local school districts into conformity, openly flaunting its disrespect of of other students and of parental rights. This according to the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity (Center).

The transgender issue extends far beyond bathroom or locker-room rights. The 2016 guidance accepts that the gender confusion of the student is a biological condition, and sets those students on a transitional path, virtually without any questions asked and, in some circumstances, with parents excluded from the process.

Combined with legislation passed earlier this year that prohibits 3rd party counseling from many religious-based counselors and other child psychologists, the State of Rhode Island would be in a position to take control of the lives of students who may express gender confusion.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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In turning a blind-eye to compelling scientific research, and in perpetuating a disturbing trend of ‘government by political correctness’, RIDE is looking to impose a one-size-fits-all mandate that may actually work against the physical and emotional health of the students in questions. Further, the terms of the proposed mandate may not be compatible with the morals held by many public school families.

“We are talking about a serious issue here – the well-being of our children. There is ample research to suggest that RIDE’s proposed mandate is ill-informed,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “To automatically place psychologically-challenged students on an uncertain path that may cause them irreparable harm, is misguided and irresponsible.”

The open and blatant disrespect (page-9, paragraph-2) for the comfort level of the majority of students, in favor of the comfort of a tiny minority of students, along with the disdain for the rights of parents and the sanctity of the family (page-7, paragraph-2), is particularly alarming.

Further, the repeated emphasis in the 2016 document on laws dealing with “discrimination” can only be seen as a heavy-handed threat to local school districts by elitist bureaucrats who believe they know what’s in Rhode Island families’ best interests.

The Center maintains that no statewide or federal dictate can possibly satisfy the varying sentiments among Rhode Island’s diverse array of local communities. The Center recommends that a broader discussion and a rigorous analysis of national research be conducted before rushing into implementation of a politically-correct-driven agenda.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

With the revelation of two suspicious RI BOE rules changes, we call on the House Oversight Committee to hold emergency fall hearings.

Unlawful BOE Rules Changes? Center Calls for Oversight Hearings, in Addition to Independent Investigation, to Look Into Rhode Island Election Irregularities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2017

Board of Election Rules Changes Designed to Lessen Election Integrity in Rhode Island?

In RI, possible to apply, be registered, and vote without ever providing legally required personally identifying information?

Center adds call for House Oversight hearings, in addition to Independent Investigation, re. apparent election irregularities

Providence, RI – The revelation today of two past cases of suspicious RI Board of Elections (BOE) rules changes prompted the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity to call on the House Oversight Committee to hold emergency fall hearings to look into potential illegal registration and voting guidelines. This, in addition to the Center’s previous call on the Governor and/or the Attorney General to initiate an independent investigation.

The Ocean State Current (The Current) published today an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration. Prior to 2008 and after new federal law in 2003, an applicant had to check a box … stating that no drivers license or social security number had (ever) been issued to the person by the state or federal government … as reason to accept alternative (less conclusive) identification credentials. Since 2008 this section and checkbox no longer appears on the form (lessening legal risk to disingenuous applicants?). Comparative images of the altered forms can be found in the article on The Current, which is the Center’s own journalism and blog website.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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Also today, Ken Block published new research about another questionable BOE rules change in 2012. This promulgated rule effectively exempts anyone who votes via mail ballot or via emergency voting from state voter ID requirements. According to Block, over 40,000 such votes were cast in 2016 by voters who have been improperly exempted from providing voter identification as required by Rhode Island’s voter ID law, RI General Law 17-19-24.2. This improper exemption may have also led to violations of federal voting law, specifically the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which requires that voters who do not supply personally identifying information when they register, must submit that information the first time that they vote.

“In addition to the Governor and Attorney General, it is the responsibility of Chairwoman Serpa to call her committee into session to determine if the State of Rhode Island is violating state and federal elections law,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “In Rhode Island, it appears that the BOE and the Secretary of State’s office, over the years, have purposely left the door open for individuals to register to vote … and cast a vote … without ever providing personally identifying information as required by state and federal law. As I previously commented, the magnitude of these findings potentially shake the very foundation of our state’s democracy … and must be officially investigated.”

The Center has also demanded a public statement from the Office of the Secretary of State and from the Board Of Elections ,s which meets this Wednesday to consider these claims, to specifically declare whether or not current voter registration practices are in compliance with federal law.

The Center further recommends additional items be investigated and that potential actions be taken, with regard to the state’s overall election process:

  • Executive order or legislation requiring Rhode Island’s Secretary of State to backfill PII information for the hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that are missing this information.
  • Review of Rhode Island’s “Motor Voter” and automatic registration policies to determine if they comply with federal law
  • Review of state’s absentee mail ballot, emergency voting, and voter ID laws to ensure they comport with the reformed voter registration process
  • Consider a constitutional amendment to codify appropriate reforms so as to ensure election integrity for future generations
  • State or Federal lawsuit on behalf of potentially disenfranchised voters, in order to assure prompt and clear action to cure any legal defects in advance of the next election cycle

Last month Block previously released research of 2016 election voting research showing that every RI city and town had registered voters with missing personally identifying information, as required by federal law. Block also sent a letter of complaint to the US Justice Department, along with detailed city-by-city and district-by-district charts – both can be viewed here.

According to Block’s research, results from the 2016 General Election show that more than thirty percent (over 143,000 votes) of the total votes cast were from voters who did not have a validating drivers license or social security number on file in Rhode Island’s voter registration system. In every city and town in the Ocean State at least 20% of all votes cast last November, were by individuals without such personally identifying information (PII) on record. In five towns, over 40% of voters had no listed PII.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

As the Center recommended over summer 2017, Rhode Island families and businesses would have been better off had the General Assembly not reconvened this year, after prematurely shutting down in June.

Statement on General Assembly Special Session: Negatives Outweigh Positives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2017

Negative Measures Outweigh Positive Steps

State Would Have Been Better Off Had Lawmakers Stayed Home

Providence, RI – Capitulation to the harmful progressive-Democrat agenda was enough to turn what might have been a positive special fall session of the state’s General Assembly into a net negative. This according to the nonpartisan Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Ocean State’s leading pro-family, pro-business research and advocacy organization.

While the package of Justice Reinvestment bills that the Center backed are now heading to the Governor, and while evergreen contracts for government workers and invasive tracking-cameras on highways were temporarily defeated, other negative measures, advanced by the state’s union-progressive wing, far outweighed these positives.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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“Many Rhode Island families and business will suffer from the intrusive new free-time-off mandates imposed last evening on employers,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Another hit to our state’s already dismal business climate, along with fewer good paying job opportunities, will be the result.”

Also according to the Center, in a step backward for constitutional rights, legally exercising one’s first-amendment rights can now lead to termination of one’s second-amendment rights. Further, local property taxes will increase under overly-generous new pension disability guidelines, offsetting the local automobile property tax relief enacted earlier this year.

As the Center recommended over the summer, Rhode Island families and businesses would have been better off had the General Assembly not reconvened this year, after prematurely shutting down in June.

In June, the Center published a full analysis of the 2018 budget, which additionally discusses:

  • The Center’s call for the state to fulfill its promise to cut the sales tax rate to 6.5%
  • How major portions of the progressive agenda are advanced in this budget
  • Per capita spending comparison with our better performing New England neighbors
  • Other deceptive patterns observed in the budget process, including “scooping”
  • Other positive and negative provisions in the budget and impressions of the overall 2017 legislative session

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

The Center recommends that the voters of Rhode Island should decided the fate of the proposed new PawSox stadium, and avoid eminent domain.

Center Recommends Public Referendum on PawSox Stadium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2017

Bonds Should Be Approved by Voters

Eminent Domain Reforms Also Recommended

Providence, RI — The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, in seeking to advance good government that represents the people, recommends that the voters of Rhode Island should decided the fate of the proposed new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

With hearings set to begin on related and controversial legislation, the Center believes an alternative path is a superior approach: where the people of Rhode Island have the question placed directly before them in a 2018 referendum, as is the process for most public bonds. The 38-Studios moral-obligation bond disaster demonstrates what can happen when lawmakers bypass the public.

“There is simply too much distrust of government right now for the public to accept what will be perceived as a backroom deal. If this stadium is to be publicly owned, then the people should have a direct say,” suggested Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “This is not your typical corporate subsidy deal and has many subtleties. Proponents and opponents should have the chance to make their case to the public and let the chips fall where they may.”


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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Regarding the related issue of eminent domain, the Center encourages state and local officials to avoid setting any precedents before it is clear the public supports the venture. The further Center reiterates its position that the government seizure of private property should never occur for private economic development purposes. However, the fact that the proposed stadium would be publicly owned, presents an added consideration; but is yet another reason why the public should first make the call.

The Center continues to recommend that state eminent domain statutes be reformed to prohibit eminent domain for private uses, similar to the bill (S2409) submitted by Senator Mark Cote (D, Woonsocket) in 2016.

“The Pawtucket Red Sox are all about its fan base. It’s only proper that those fans should decide this issue,” concluded Stenhouse.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

Increased natural gas pipeline Capacity would bring rates down for Rhode Island families after recent electricity rate hikes.

Center: Progressive Policies Root Cause of Electricity Rate Hikes on RI Families

STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2017

As forewarned, Progressive Energy Agenda Hurting RI Families in their Pocketbooks

Increased Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity Would Bring Rates Down

Providence, RI – Already ranking a dismal 45th in overall family prosperity, Rhode Islanders will soon suffer from a 16-21% increase on their electricity bills, making matters even worse. The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity attributes these artificially high rates to state energy policies that serve to limit the supply of low-cost natural gas in the region and that mandate National Grid to purchase high-cost electricity from unreliable renewable energy producers.

In 2016, the Center forewarned of almost this exact level price increase (13-18%) in its report on the cost of renewable energy mandates.

This price increase is largely due to basic supply and demand forces. The supply of natural gas, which is used to produce low-cost and low-emission electricity, is severely limited due to inadequate natural-gas pipeline capacity into our ISO New England region. Renewable energy mandates and increased fees due to Rhode Island’s membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) exacerbate the problem.

“Today, every Rhode Island family and business more clearly understands the real cost of electing progressive Democrats into the General Assembly and of mainstream Democrats capitulating to their agenda,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “The way to spur private sector investment in expanded pipeline capacity is to provide market certainty by eliminating disincentives to produce and sell natural gas electricity.”

The Center laments that while much of the country is enjoying the benefits of abundant low-cost, low-emission natural gas electricity, Rhode Islanders, conversely, are suffering from policies that lead to lower available supplies of natural gas.


Rhode Islanders need a credible alternative to the status quo and its destructive progressive ideas. You can help.

Click here to find out more >>>

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!

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The price increases are not attributable to profit motives by National Grid. Rather, as advocated by progressives such as US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and State Representative Aaron Regunberg, the federal and state assault on low-cost fossil fuel energy, combined with mandates to sell high-cost green energy, have artificially distorted the free-market, leading to dramatic price increases … with no discernible and offsetting environmental benefit.

Increased production of low-cost and low-emission energy derived from natural gas offers consumers and politicians an acceptable compromise solution. However, without increased pipeline capacity, such increased production is not possible, even if the proposed Burrillville natural gas energy plant were to come online.

The Center suggests that the path to lower electric prices is clear. First, repeal the mandates and subsidies for high-cost renewable energy. Second, clear away the regulations that create market uncertainty, creating a renewed incentive for the private sector to invest in increased natural gas pipeline capacity.

Just last week, the Center also issued a report on progressive bills, two of which would heap an additional $48 million annual burden on Ocean State ratepayers.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is the Ocean State’s leading voice against the wreckage caused by our state’s progressive agenda.

As the state’s leading research organization, advancing family and business friendly values… the mission of our Center is to make Rhode Island a better place to call home – to raise a family and to build a career.

While progressives value government-centric, taxpayer-funded dependency… our Center believes in the value of hard work and the free-enterprise system.

We understand that in order for more Rhode Island families to have a better quality of life, that more and better businesses are needed to create more and better jobs.

Your donation will help us fight the union-progressive movement and, instead, advocate for pro-family, pro-business policies and values.

Please make a generous, tax-deductible gift to support our Center today!