An underlying message in Governor Lincoln Chafee's annual State of the State address was his dedication to prevent any new taxes in the Ocean State. This new approach is a change of tune from the past two budgets proposed by the Governor both or which included some form of tax increase.
The Governor proposed lowering the corporate tax rate, although he recognized that some may be unhappy with the decision because they would prefer more spending for social programs he highlighted the importance of growing business to grow the state. Chafee also said he is proposing $30 million dollars in property tax relief. After making that recommendation he paused before the silent audience and jokingly encouraged, "You can give me applause on that." The audience, consisting of state office holders and the General Assembly erupted into applause.
Chafee said that the state is improving and highlighted how Central Falls has become a national model for emerging from bankruptcy stronger than when it went in and the tremendous growth of the "station district in Warwick."
Governor Chafee mention the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and noted that he plans to join with other state political leaders in legislation to make Rhode Island safer for kids.
Chafee highlighted his commitment to seeing the Gay Marriage legislation pass to ensure all Rhode Islanders have the same rights.
The speech also addressed more money for higher education to prevent tuition increases to students in the state's school and an emphasis on work force development.
Chafee also reaffirmed his commitment to infrastructure saying infrastructure is a key to a strong economy.