The Governor's budget for FY2019 stands in stark contrast to the successful path to prosperity blazed by the federal government via tax and regulatory reductions in the past year.

Center Critical of Governor’s “Wrong Direction” Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 18, 2018

“Keep Going” Strategy Headed in Wrong Direction

Recent Federal Reforms Demonstrate the Path to Prosperity

Providence, RI – The Governor’s proposed “Keep Going” FY2019 budget stands in stark contrast to the successful path to prosperity blazed by the federal government via tax and regulatory reductions in the past year.

“In perpetuating a stagnant economic status quo for Rhode Island, this budget includes a number of new revenue schemes, even while the Administration claims there are no broad based tax hikes,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity.”Treading water simply is not good enough for a state that ranks in the bottom-10 in multiple broad, national indexes: business climate, Family Prosperity Index, Jobs & Opportunity Index, and in regulatory burdens.”

Already spending significantly more per capita than its more prosperous neighboring states, the proposed budget irresponsibly proposes $135 million in new spending, including the planned hiring of hundreds of new government workers. The budget also seeks to extract significant new revenues from the public via a bevy of narrow tax and fee increases, such state sponsored sports gambling and increased marijuana usage, and “scoops” from other agencies. Additionally, the projected $41 million in new trucker toll receipts will inevitably lead to higher prices for grocery and other consumer products.

With a highly successful 180 degree opposite approach, and less than one month after becoming law, the recently enacted federal tax reforms prove that bold reductions in personal and corporate tax burdens, when combined with meaningful regulatory reforms, will lead to real and immediate economic growth. Further, as the nation has witnessed by the hundreds of companies that have recently announced employee bonuses and pay increases, such growth directly benefits workers at all levels.

The $350 BILLION investment plan announced by Apple this month, and the expected $38 BILLION in new federal taxes it will pay, clearly demonstrates – as the Center has consistently advocated, and as America also saw during with Reagan era tax cuts – that lower tax rates that spur economic growth can actually lead to increased revenue flows to the government.

“Sadly, per Amazon’s announcement this, we find again that Rhode Island’s political class was fooling itself into believing that our Ocean State was in the running for a new Amazon corporate campus,” continued Stenhouse. “As we have maintained for years, until RI takes serious steps to improve our dismal business & educational climate, we will continue NOT to make Top-20 lists, and we will continue to hemorrhage from small business shutdowns and transplants to other states.”

Instead of even more taxpayer money dedicated to fund crony corporate welfare handouts, this money could be used to fund broad-based tax cuts that can spur economic growth. If Rhode Island were to work towards a pro-growth, lower tax and regulatory business climate, there is no reason to believe our state could not share in the same dynamic economic growth that we are now seeing across America. With national jobless claims at 40 year lows, with record low African American unemployment, and with Hispanic unemployment also approaching historic lows, it is a win-win situation for Rhode Island to consider meaningful tax cuts and regulatory reforms.

As with last year’s budget, the Center criticizes the ledgerdemain in the budget regarding the deceptive process referred to as “scooping.” Scooping creates the appearance of more general state revenue receipts, by moving off-budget funding from specific state agencies or quasi-publics (e.g., $5 million from the Student Loan Authority) into the general fund. Over time, these agencies may seek to recoup lost funds by shifting the burden to municipal taxpayers or by other increased fees.

Center Issues Statement on Governor’s State of the State Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 16, 2018

“Keep Going” Strategy Headed in Wrong Direction

Tax and Spend Polices Will Continue to Keep Ocean State Lagging Behend

Providence, RI – Unfortunately, the Governor wants to “keep going” with her tax and spend policies; specifically her taxpayer-subsidized corporate welfare scheme that benefits only a few insider companies; a program that is not fiscally sustainable and cannot possibly create enough good-paying jobs to make a difference for enough Ocean State families.

Conversely, the House Minority Leader’s call for an improved overall business climate – that will help every business – is the more sound approach to real economic growth. The Center does appreciate that the Governor indirectly supported the Speaker of the House’s encouraging call for regulatory reform as one means to improve the business climate, and so that every Rhode Islander is afforded the #RIghtToEarn a living of their choice.

The Governor’s call for MASSIVE new spending on school infrastructure, without indicating how it will be paid for, is reminiscent of her initial call for bridge and road upgrades; we wonder what new toll, tax, or fee might be imposed on Rhode Island families and businesses.

A more detailed statement will ensue following the release of the Governor’s proposed budget.

The Ocean State managed to hop away from last place on the November Jobs & Opportunity Index, a broader measure of our economy than the unemployment rate.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), November 2017: A Step Away from the Precipice?

With some help from the downward-trending Arkansas and Louisiana, Rhode Island managed to hop away from last place on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) in November, moving from 49th to 47th. The November edition includes new numbers for seven of the 12 datapoints.

Employment was down again, 519 from the previously recorded number, while labor force edged up 226. Owing to a significant upward revision of October’s numbers, RI-based jobs increased 1,900. Personal income, although still down from the first quarter, increased an annualized $225 million (about 0.5%), while state and local taxes increased by $20 million (about 0.6%). On the welfare side, Medicaid increased by 180 enrollees, while SNAP (food stamps) dropped again, by 628. (Problems providing the benefit may indicate that the decrease isn’t based on Rhode Islanders’ need, but on the system’s failure.)


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 first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 47th in the country. Regional leader New Hampshire slipped to 2nd for the first time in a long time, losing out to Wyoming. Vermont and Maine both fell, although only to 18th and 20th place, respectively. Massachusetts remained at 31st, but Connecticut fell into the bottom 10 with Rhode Island and is now 41st.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on November Jobs & Opportunity Index. In both cases, RI’s gap eased a little. Switching to the official unemployment rate, RI’s gap narrowed more slightly.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI remained 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 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!

Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

Federal ‘Tax Cuts & Jobs Act’ Should Ease RI Budget Deficits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2017

State Budget Will Benefit from Federal Tax Reforms

Economic Growth Will Boost Sales and Income Tax Revenues

Providence, RI – Ironically, Rhode Island’s political class, incessantly in search of new revenues, is criticizing the recently passed “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act,” which could generate more statewide revenues in a more responsible way than any other scheme they have devised themselves.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity points out that because individuals and businesses necessarily reside in some state, that the economic growth – expected to result from the federal tax reforms – will lead to a boost in state revenues.

In Rhode Island:

  • With about 80% of its residents soon to keep – and spend – more of their hard-earned paychecks … state sales tax revenues will increase
  • With more businesses to keep more of their profits, more and better paying jobs will be created … resulting in more state income tax revenues
  • With more businesses earning more profits and pass through incomes … more capital gains tax and normal income tax revenues will be collected, not to mention increases to individuals’ 401k or other equity positions
  • And, best of all for Rhode Island, it’s the federal government that must deal with the positive or negative budget implications … meaning that the state revenue increases described above come with no strings attached and with no risk.

Further, the reality of the federal reforms, often the target of scorn by the Rhode Island’s political leaders, could mean that more businesses choose to relocate or become established in American, and in states like Rhode Island.

“It is alarming that state officials would deny tax cuts to families and businesses, just to advance their partisan class-warfare narrative,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Because of these federal tax reforms, Rhode Island will no longer need to subsidize taxpayer-funded corporate hand-outs in order to see more and better paying jobs organically grow in our state.”

On the negative side, under the reforms passed today, because state and local income and property tax deductions (SALT) will be limited to ten thousand dollars per year, high-income households and high-value property owners may end up paying more in taxes. This unfortunate circumstance should not be blamed on the federal reforms but, rather, on the state and local governments who have been excessively imposing taxes on its residents … and which have unfairly relied on federal taxpayers in other states to subsidize their high levels of taxation.

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

According to the Center, it is organic economic growth, not corporate welfare schemes, that can 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 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!