Gov. Chafee Delivers RI State of the State Address

by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter 

It was a warm welcome for Governor Chafee, and a State of the State address, that focused mostly on trying to boost the state's economy, without boosting taxes.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, (I-RI), said, “Not only are there no taxes or fee increases, I also propose lowering our corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over the next three years.”

The budget also contains more money for work force training, roads and bridges, and $30 million  more for education.

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said, “It is so important that we stay consistent with how education is funded and this additional contribution to education.”

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Despite the applause, It's one thing to give a speech; it's another matter to get these measures through the General Assembly, and there are skeptics”

The Governor's address was praised by both Democrats and Republicans, especially for no new taxes and the proposed tax cuts

But, can it pass?

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-RI) said, “You've got to remember, about 50 of the General Assembly are tax and spend people. And they are going to be amending that budget. They are going to want taxes.”

State Sen. Steve Archambault (D-RI) said, “Can we really get there without making cuts in services in certain areas, and raising taxes in others. My time at the municipal level shows me it's not always possible.”.

Governor Chafee said, “Our shared goal, a brighter future for our great state, thank you very much.”

The governor's budget now goes to House and Senate Finance Committees where a lot could be changed.