State to Restrict Free Movement of Goods? Preemptive strike to force truckers to pay future tolls in Rhode Island

STATEMENT: Center Blasts “Truck Toll Tyranny” as Bullying by RIDOT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2017

State to Restrict Free Movement of Goods?

Heavy-Handed Totalitarian Measure Seen as Preemptive Strike to Force Truckers to Pay Future Tolls

Providence, RI – In a heavy-handed edict, reminiscent of soviet-style totalitarianism, the state of Rhode Island is seeking to restrict the free-flow of goods and commerce by restricting trucker traffic on secondary roads. This, according to the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, in response to a RIDOT requested and approved agenda item at a 9:30 AM meeting today of the State Traffic Commission at the State House.

“This is truck toll tyranny. It is an obvious preemptive attack against the RI Trucking Association by the State in a blatant attempt to force truckers to pay future tolls,” averred Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “The dishonesty of the State – in claiming this outrageous move is to preserve the safety of roads – is nothing more than government bullying of a political opponent. This restriction of free-commerce and the free movement of goods is something you would expect to see in soviet socialist countries, not in America. When the power of government is turned against its own citizens, especially when for petty political payback purposes, we all should shudder at this infringement on our liberties.”

The official letter acknowledging this agenda item, with details of restricted roadways:

 

This official letter from the state is a a heavy-handed edict, reminiscent of soviet-style totalitarianism, the state of Rhode Island is seeking to restrict the free-flow of goods and commerce by restricting trucker traffic on secondary roads.

Rhode Islanders would be hit with a tidal wave of new costs to fund the most destructive progressive bills.

15 Progressive Bills would Cost Rhode Islanders over Six BILLION Dollars

PROGRESSIVE TIDAL WAVE of New Costs ?

Opportunities for Rhode Island families to move up the income ladder and achieve a better quality of life would be threatened if the progressive-left’s agenda were to be fully implemented. Already drowning from a 45th rank in business climate and overall family prosperity, Ocean Staters would be asked to bear a tidal wave of new costs totaling multiple billions annually in order to fund the legislative vision of the state’s progressive-Democrat wing.

According to research released today by the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, potential increased costs of $6 BILLION per year would be heaped upon our state’s families and businesses via tax hikes, higher ratepayer fees, and new employer mandates if just 15 bills that are now on a path in the General Assembly were taken up again in future years and became law. Such added government-imposed burdens would run counter to productive reforms in other states … and would create new barriers to job creation, while reducing disposable income for virtually every Rhode Islander.

Already suffering from a serious out-migration problem in our state, taxpayers, residents, and business owners should be alarmed that the wave of intrusive bills introduced in 2017 … in the areas of healthcare, business regulation, energy, and education … would likely sweep away even more Rhode Islanders into other states.

The most onerous piece of legislation is a proposed single-payer healthcare system, sponsored by progressive-Democrat activist Representative Aaron Regunberg. In ceding management of the state’s entire healthcare insurance to an overly politicized and incompetent government bureaucracy, this one piece of legislation alone would heap about $5,403,000,000 per year in new costs on taxpayers.


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 second biggest burden of the progressive bills, would be a $391,200,000 annual burden on employers under a $15.00 minimum wage mandate, as proposed by Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vessel, also a member of the progressive-Democrat caucus.

The third most costly bill, which will be considered next month when the General Convenes in a rare September session, is the controversial and high-profile paid-time-off mandate, also sponsored by Regunberg, which would add a $48,713,985 burden on employers.

Consistent with past trends, bills often take years to work their way through the internal politics of the General Assembly. Carbon tax and other energy-related legislation that would raise energy rates on everyone, “fairness” taxes on investment managers, affordable housing incentives, and a statewide charter-school tax … make up some of the other most costly and misguided bills.

Improvements in the Ocean State’s employment picture were undone by loss of income on the Jobs & Opportunity Index, June 2017.

Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), June 2017: Employment Estimates and Income Diverge

Having skipped a month, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity registered a larger amount of movement in its Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI), but improvements in the Ocean State’s employment picture were undone by loss of income. Additionally, the state’s reduction in SNAP enrollees — which may be indicative of distribution problems, rather than a decrease in residents’ need for the service — was not enough to overcome a Medicaid increase and broader trends.


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!

show less


Nine of the 12 datapoints (now counting state and local taxes as one) used for the index are newly updated. Employment was up 1,727 from the previously recorded number (for April), while labor force rose 1,054. (This is a continuation of an annual surge in these numbers typically revised away.) RI-based jobs increased by 2,000, and SNAP enrollment continued a decreasing trend, this time dropping 9,539 since the last JOI report. Medicaid enrollment, however, increased by 1,307. Turning to money, personal income (including earnings as well as various forms of investment) dropped $378 million on an annualized basis, while federal taxes increased $234 million. A $48 million drop in state and local taxes barely dented this $612 million gap income-to-tax gap.

The first chart shows Rhode Island still in the last position in New England, 48th in the country, while New Hampshire remained 1st. Elsewhere in New England, Vermont edged ahead of Maine, although both fell in national rank, to 21st and 22nd, respectively. Meanwhile, Massachusetts opened up its gap ahead of Connecticut, reaching 31st to the Nutmeg State’s 36th.

The second chart shows the gap between RI and New England and the U.S. on JOI. RI gained some on the U.S. average but lost ground in New England. Switching to the official unemployment rate, those results flip, although movement relative to the U.S. was minimal.

Results for the three underlying JOI factors were:

  • Job Outlook Factor (optimism that adequate work is available): RI jumped three, to 29th.
  • Freedom Factor (the level of work against reliance on welfare programs): RI took one step, to 41st.
  • Prosperity Factor (the financial motivation of income versus taxes): RI fell one, to 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!