BREAKING: House Finance Committee passes $9.2 billion State budget
By: Samantha Fenlon
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The House Finance Committee passed the State’s $9.2 billion budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year late Thursday evening in a 15 to 4 vote.
The budget includes a scaled down version of Governor Gina Raimondo's free college tuition plan. It also includes Speaker Nick Mattiello's proposal to phase out the car tax over the next 6 years. That will cost $26 million in this budget.
Governor Raimondo initially proposed two years of free college tuition from CCRI, or the last two years free at RIC or URI for Rhode Island grads. The new budget only includes tuition for an Associates degree from CCRI; requiring a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and residency requirements after graduating.
The Governor’s Communications Director did not show any disappointment saying he is quite pleased that Rhode Island will be the 4th state in the nation to offer a free tuition plan.
Also of note, there are no broad based tax increases,. There is an increase to minimum wage of $0.50 in January and another $0.40 in January of 2019. The budget also includes a $0.50 cent increase per pack for cigarettes.