Raimondo Statement on Revenue Estimating Conference
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued the following statement Monday regarding the revised projections issued during last Friday's Revenue Estimating Conference:
"This is very positive news -- but it's critical that we use this additional revenue to invest in economic growth and putting people to work. Had these revenue projections been available in March when I submitted my budget proposal, I would have used some of the extra revenue to make certain additional investments to:
• Increase our efforts to create jobs and promote innovation by putting shovels in the ground, making it less expensive to do business in Rhode Island, and training Rhode Islanders. In particular, I would have (1) invested more in tax credits, like the Rebuild RI and Anchor Institution tax credits; and (2) invested more in infrastructure, like the School Building Authority and the Infrastructure Bank.
• Expand the Earned Income Tax even more broadly than I called for in my budget proposal in order to reward hard work and put more money in working people's pockets.
• Expand our efforts to make college affordable and stop the "brain drain" by increasing last dollar scholarships and loan forgiveness.
"I also would have omitted or reduced certain efforts to raise revenue or accrue savings by:
• Reducing the amount of savings I sought to achieve on personnel costs.
• Omitting the effort to raise revenue via an assessment on second homes valued at $1 million or more.
"We need to remain focused on investing in the future. This revised forecast should not distract us from the necessary work of addressing our long term structural deficit -- especially since so much of this additional revenue is 'one-time,' and therefore not expected to recur in future years. Medicaid accounts for more than 30 cents of every state taxpayer dollar, so we need to stay focused on reinventing Medicaid, on shifting to paying for value instead of for volume, and on achieving savings this year.
"I look forward to working with the Speaker, the Senate President, and the members of the General Assembly to address these priorities, and to pass a balanced budget that invests in creating jobs, expanding opportunity, and sparking economic growth in Rhode Island."
(release from Governor's Office)