House Republican Caucus Calls out State Leadership Over Delayed Consideration of FY21 Budget by the General Assembly

The House Republican Caucus issues the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Governor, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate that they will postpone the development and discussion of the FY 2021 Budget until November:

Today’s decision to delay tackling our gaping budget hole, rather than doing the hard work now, is an abdication by the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate of their basic responsibilities to the citizens of Rhode Island. That they are kicking the can down the road until after the November election is a cynical effort to avoid electoral responsibility for the unsustainable state finances they have created over the years.

Since April, Republicans have called on the General Assembly to convene and come up with solutions to address the projected $900 million budget gap, and to provide fiscal oversight during the pandemic. Instead, the extent of our leaders’ action has been to wish upon a federal bailout, and to hold onto federal CARES Act monies that should have been used to upgrade our schools to enable in-person learning, and to help struggling small businesses forced to close. Waiting an additional two months to address this budget hole will only increase the pain Rhode Islanders will face.

Republicans have called for spending reforms for years to address our unsustainable government spending-spree. Unfortunately, our prediction that we would not be prepared for a recession has come home to roost, and our leaders still fail to recognize it.

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