Decision of the Century: General Assembly’s Budget Approach Will Set State’s Trajectory for Decades to Come

The problems we face did not come down from the heavens; they were government-made and they can be reversed. Lawmakers should not feel helpless, nor do we have to be reliant of the federal government. Many states are taking proactive steps to prepare their state economies for rapid recovery... and we must do the same. Lawmakers have to understand that they can no longer hide from the responsibilities and difficult decisions they were elected take on: the status quo budget approach - tax, spend, and borrow - can not work in response to this pandemic crisis.

With a one-billion dollar anticipated revenue shortfall, and with recent statements from leading Rhode Island lawmakers indicating a general feeling of helplessness, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today published a report with proven budget strategies that can help put the state on a long-term positive trajectory.  Virtually all recent comments from public officials appear to place an undue reliance on federal bailout funds in the hope that status quo spending levels might be maintained. This is not a budget strategy.

Compiled after numerous discussions with colleagues in other states as well as with state budget experts with national organizations, the Center’s report, Decision of the Century, is premised on the understanding that the decisions that will soon be made by lawmakers in dealing with the pandemic-caused revenue losses, will set the near and long term trajectory for the Rhode Island economy.

For decades, Rhode Island state politicians have practiced allegiance to a budget that has failed its people; a budget that requires unhealthy levels of taxation and regulation. This, as opposed to the allegiance they are sworn to uphold to the people of Rhode Island.

Massive Deficits: The State’s Budget is the Enemy of the People

BACKGROUND: Should the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of Rhode Island families be limited by an arbitrary, politically driven budget number at the bottom of a spreadsheet? Unfortunately, our state is now suffering the consequences of such an approach, dragged-down by the progressive-left’s big-spending agenda; as projected economic growth has not materialized, leaving the state with […]

STATEMENT on Proposed 2017 RI Budget

STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  June 8, 2016 RI Families Once Again Left Out of State Budget Multiple Special Interest & Corporate Welfare Programs Outweigh Few Relief Provisions Lawmakers Adopt Center’s Recommendation to increase EITC in lieu of Minimum Wage hike Providence, RI — With nothing bold to address the massive structural budget deficits, its dismal business climate, […]

STATEMENT: P3 Legislation Applauded as More Efficient Delivery Model for Infrastructure Upgrades

NEW: Failing RI Report Card Grades Not Advancing Social Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 17, 2015 Non-Competitive Grades Harming Work, Mobility, and Opportunity for Rhode Islanders Preponderance of Fs and Ds Should Signal Need for Change in Policy Culture Providence, RI — The opportunity for upward mobility for many Ocean Staters continues to be hampered by a non-competitive business climate and onerous family tax burdens, […]