Rhode Island Governor Releases Proposed $12.8 Billion State Budget | Science


Rhode Island’s governor submitted a $12.8 billion state budget plan to the General Assembly on Thursday that aims to fight the pandemic, build more affordable housing, invest in schools and help businesses.

Democratic Gov. Dan McKee said in budget documents he was trying to revive the hospitality industry, bolster research and ocean-related businesses, invest in the workforce and increase the per capita income of each family, without general tax increases. His decisions were informed by community conversations he held over the past year.

McKee’s proposal for fiscal year 2023 is an increase from last year’s proposal, but a decrease of nearly $300 million, or 2.3%, from the enacted budget for the fiscal year 2022. McKee said in the documents that the operational plan, along with the $1.1 billion the state received in federal pandemic relief funds and $112 million in additional federal funding for capital projects, will meet the needs created by the pandemic and lay the foundations for a more resilient state. .

The legislature will review the proposals and present its plan before the start of the fiscal year in July.

People also read…

McKee included in his budget proposal a plan to spend the bulk of federal pandemic relief funds through fiscal year 2027. His budget proposal includes about $431 million of those funds to be spent during of the 2023 financial year.

Among the largest proposed expenditures for federal funding, McKee wants to allocate approximately $250 million for housing initiatives, including the construction of new affordable housing units, $211 million for economic development and labor- including support for ocean-related businesses and the rehabilitation of the port of Galilee. , and $180 million to help small businesses and industries impacted by the pandemic.

He wants to spend about $150 million to continue the public health response to the pandemic and $132 million to address climate change by improving waterfront facilities and helping pay for high-efficiency electric heat pumps in homes. .

With nearly $620 million in FY2022 overbudget funding, McKee wants to pay for one-time expenses, including improving state buildings, building a new medical facility for the psychiatric hospital in state, investment in state information technology and infrastructure, and payment of the pension obligation for the state pension system.

He wants to ask voters to approve $350 million in spending through bond questions in the November ballot. The biggest is a proposed bond of $250 million for school building projects.

He wants to fully fund state aid for schools, with nearly $50 million set aside so that no local education agency will receive less state aid even if enrollment drops due to of the pandemic or move to other schools.

For small businesses, McKee wants to cut taxes, including lowering the minimum corporate tax, and allow restaurants to continue selling alcohol with take-out orders, a practice that began during the pandemic.

McKee has proposed creating a $6 million annual fund to meet climate goals set out in state climate law and fund renewable energy, energy efficiency and other qualifying programs, with four positions created to support the state’s efforts to combat climate change. He wants to spend $6.6 million to expand Medicaid coverage to new mothers and all children, regardless of immigration status.

McKee recommended phasing out the military service pension tax over five years, which would cost the state $700,000 in fiscal year 2023 and $5.8 million when fully implemented. He wants to continue phasing out the car tax by giving municipalities $166.6 million to make up for lost revenue.

And McKee has proposed legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana for adults, with sales to begin in April 2023. This is expected to generate about $8 million in revenue in fiscal year 2023, which would be mostly spent on regulatory oversight. .

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Comments are closed.