by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
Governor Lincoln Chafee promised more state aid to cities and towns saying, "This year I recommend an additional 30 million dollars for property tax relief."
Some of the loudest 'State of the State' applause came from city and town mayors, who will get more state dollars.
But the mayors were also disappointed the Governor did not push for municipal pension reforms for local government employees.
Mayor Joseph Polisena (D-Johnston) said, "We're hoping that they come to the table and compromise, because quite frankly, I've said it before, no one is going to get a pension because our money is simply going to run out.".
Mayor Allan Fung (R-Cranston) said, "You still have to have the reforms on the expense reduction side. That's something I am not going to give up on, because I think they have to go hand and hand."
The state employee pension system was reformed 15 months ago, but that did not include city and town workers.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "And without the Governor's help on municipal pension reform, the mayors tell us they'll simply have to ask their own legislators in the General Assembly, to introduce those bills."
Another area needing clarity: gun control.
The Governor wants it, but did not say what new restrictions might be coming.
Congressman Jim Langevin said, "I certainly liked what he had to say, at least alluded to in terms of gun control. It would have been great to hear more specifics."
The biggest praise in the speech was for economic development, with no new taxes, and even a corporate tax cut.
State Sen. Dawson Hodgson, (R-RI). said, "It goes in the right direction and it sends a message to people that are thinking about operating an enterprise or a business, or employing people in Rhode Island, 'This is a place that I can be.'"
The proposed budget totals 8–point–2 billion dollars.