Wednesday marks one year in office for Governor Dan McKee
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Wednesday marks one year since Governor Dan McKee has stepped into the state’s top office. McKee has served as Rhode Island Governor since March 2021, when Gov. Gina Raimondo accepted a position in the Biden administration.
“Every single day over the past year, it has been a privilege to serve Rhode Islanders in all 39 cities and towns as Governor,” says Gov. McKee.
In an exclusive interview with ABC6, Governor McKee said when coming in as governor, the state was amid the pandemic, facing major issues like the economy, vaccinations, education, and a state budget that was due 11 days after he was sworn in.
McKee, making changes immediately, getting cities and towns directly involved.
“The response that came from municipal leaders getting their firefighters, their EMTs, their school nurses in their senior centers and around the different schools in the state of Rhode Island really elevated the awareness,” McKee told ABC6 News.
When asked about his most memorable day as governor, McKee tells ABC6 his swearing in ceremony with his family is a day close to his heart.
“Being sworn in as the governor of the state that I love, and the work that I love to do… that was certainly the most memorable day.”
He notes live music in Newport, Providence WaterFire, and visiting Washington D.C. and spending time in the Oval Office with President Biden were all incredible moments for him as a governor.
“For a kid that grew up in the town of Cumberland…that’s a big deal. But, also I understand that the networking there is so important.”
McKee said he continues to face new challenges every day, including the need for more help for small businesses to keep the state’s economy afloat.
“Every day is a challenge, and there’s no doubt about that. As we reopened our economy earlier than what was projected…a week before Memorial Day last year, and doing it in a safe way, trying to get those federal funds into our communities.”
In a release, the Governor’s office highlighted vaccination efforts, economic rebound, and healthcare in the state.
“I came in at a time frame where there was no playbook for what I was doing. A lieutenant governor coming into it the Governor’s office in such circumstances that were really in crisis mode,” says McKee.
Rhode Island is now #1 in the nation for percent of population fully vaccinated, and #3 in the nation for percent of population with a booster shot.
“Rhode Island is doubling down on boosters with our eyes set on reaching #1 in the nation,” says the Governor’s office.
The office also mentioned the Governor’s investment of $119 million in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds to support Rhode Island’s children, families, workers, housing and small businesses.
The Governor kicked off his one year in office by reading to first-graders in Warwick Monday morning, and announcing a new grant program in Providence.
He’s also headed to Newport to tour affordable housing at 2 p.m.
In February, McKee launched his campaign for a full-term as governor.