Lawmakers hammer out final details of state budget

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The state’s budget is still a work in progress.

The House Finance Committee is working on the fine details of the budget before more details are expected to be revealed tonight.

“It is very much a good budget, and something I’m proud of, it has house priorities, it has some senate priorities, it has some governor priorities, nobody got everything they wanted,” House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi said.

Shekarchi said this year’s budget will reflect the times we are in.

He says the state’s revenue has fallen off $61 million since their initial look back in November 2022.

Shekarchi says thanks to the Governor’s hard work housing is a big priority in the budget.

“We have the creation of a housing department and the funding and the staffing of it including the supplement budget amendment all are going to be in the budget and even a little bit more to fund some shovel ready projects,” he said.

Shekarchi also says it is critical the state makes an attempt to grow a new exciting industry, so $45 million will be dedicated to creating a bio science hub.

“We will have some structure on what it looks like, if you want to think what it looks like we follow the Massachusetts model,” he added.

Senate president Dominick Ruggerio says another item of high priority in the budget is helping out local business with tax relief, specifically tangible tax.

“It’s a burdensome tax on businesses,” Ruggerio said. “I think it will provide 75% of business in Rhode Island, I think what businesses have gone through in the past couple years, fighting to stay alive, I think that will help with the financial burden.”

The committee will consider the budget sometime this evening.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island