Center To Call on Governor, Committee Chairs to Delay Final Actions on Brookings’ RI Innovates Plan


March 15, 2016

Legal and Legislative Issues Should be Resolved Before House & Senate Committees and the Governor Give Final Approval

Providence, RI — As will be detailed in testimony by its CEO this afternoon, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity will call on political leaders to delay final approval of the RI Innovates plan, which does not meet statutory requirements, and whose rapid non-transparent adoption has raised new legislative concerns.

Paraphrasing state statute 42-64.17-1(d), before the proposed economic development plan can be adopted it must provide certain fiscal benchmark and small-business impact statements. The plan, developed by the Brookings Institution, openly states that it does not provide such cost-benefit analysis.

The Center is calling on the Governor to follow state law by withholding final approval, which by the same statute, she is authorized to grant, once the general assembly hearings have been conducted.

In that regard, Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center will also call on the two finance committee chairs to “continue” and not bring to a close the two statutorily required hearings scheduled for this afternoon in the Senate and House Finance Committees at 2:30 (Room 313) and at the rise (Room 35) respectively at the State House. Until these hearings are formally concluded, the Governor cannot grant final approval of the policy and plan.

Legislators have also expressed concern. Senator Lou Raptakis (D, Coventry) who yesterday issued a media release that was critical of the process that does not require an approval vote of lawmakers. The Senator indicated he will submit legislation requiring a General Assembly vote to approve RI Innovates.

The Center suggests that any final action on this plan be delayed until these legal and legislative issues are resolved.

Stenhouse’s full prepared remarks will be posted later this afternoon on the Center’s website at .

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
401.429.6115 |

About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise research and advocacy organization. The nonprofit Center is funded entirely by private tax-deductible donations and never accepts public funding. The mission of the 501-C-3 organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.