Chafee and Mayors to Legislators “Bankruptcy is not good for Rhode Island”

Cash strapped cities in Rhode Island could get a helping hand from a legislative package being proposed by Governor Lincoln Chafee.

On Monday, Chafee met with dozens of mayors and city administrators, to talk about the package.

This is the second time that the governor has held a meeting with local leaders, to hopefully help them to avoid becoming the next Central Falls.

But without support from the House and Senate his plan isn't going anywhere.

Bankruptcy is a situation that the 4-most distressed communities in Rhode Island are trying desperately to avoid, but with each passing day, the prospects of Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and West Warwick going bankrupt, increases.

“The message should be that we're going to avoid bankruptcy it's not good for Rhode Island.” said Governor Chafee.

Monday's meeting between Chafee and dozens of local leaders comes at the same time that the governor's 7-piece legislative package, that will address everything from freezing COLAS, to removing certain state mandates, and even getting state aid to distressed cities earlier, sits idle in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

“If they don't understand the need for the governor's package, then they don't really have a clear understanding of how their municipalities work.” said Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee.

Local leaders are banding together in a show of strength, hoping to get legislators to support a package that they say is essential.

And unless action is taken before the legislative session closes in June, Chafee and many local leaders, fear the worst.

“These 4-communities are on the verge of as we know a real financial calamity.” said Chafee.