Lt. Gov. McKee outlines transition to Gov.’s office; focus is on beating coronavirus

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — With Governor Gina Raimondo expected to head to Washington D.C. to serve as Commerce Secretary under President-Elect Joe Biden, Rhode Island’s Lieutenant Governor, Dan McKee, addressed the media Thursday regarding his transition from second in command to the state’s top office.

“I want you to know who I am,” McKee said Thursday, introducing himself to residents of the Ocean State who may not yet be familiar with him.

McKee said his top priority as governor will be defeating the coronavirus.

“Right now, our enemy is the virus,” the soon-to-be governor said. “We will come out of this crisis stronger than when we went in.”

McKee, who has flown somewhat under the radar as second in charge for the last 6 years said he hopes to streamline vaccine distribution efforts in Rhode Island.

He also wants to help small businesses get back on their feet, although he didn’t say exactly how he plans to do that.

“The best thing we can do for our businesses is contain the virus and infection rates,” McKee said.

He did promise he would have a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 ready by March 10th, and promised he would meet with and speak to every single member on Governor Raimondo’s cabinet before making a decision about his own.

However, unlike Governor Raimondo, who has been pushing hard to send all school districts in the state back to the classroom, McKee said he believes each district should determine what’s best for them.

“I think you let the local districts determine what they’re going to do and the state should be supporting that,” McKee explained.

McKee said he will choose his own Lt. Governor when he takes office, but said he will not decide who until a later date.

Raimondo will remain the acting Governor of Rhode Island until she is officially confirmed as the next Commerce Secretary, likely sometime in February.

(c) WLNE-TV  // ABC 6  2021

Categories: News, Politics, Regional News, Rhode Island