Rhode Island’s new budget will demand about $9.97 billion dollars from the taxpayers this year. This equates to over $9,000 per person. By comparison, the Massachusetts state budget asks about $6,000 per person, and New Hampshire about $5,000 per person. On WPRO recently, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello denied that the state budget was “too big” and said “I don’t know where to cut it”.

When asked her thoughts, Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Sue Cienki commented, “Here are some ideas of where to cut, Mr. Speaker. First, cut the $1 million dollar grant you gave to your campaign donor Dr. Victor Pedro, who appears to be practicing some unique form of alternative medicine. Second, stop increasing Governor Gina Raimondo’s corporate welfare programs, instead cut them. Even you have admitted that these programs haven’t paid for themselves. Third, cut the General Assembly’s budget even if means reducing the amount of patronage jobs you dole out to voters in your own district to get reelected. With cuts like these, we can: (1) eliminate gimmicks like the scooping money from other funds or renaming 911 fees, (2) avoid new taxes and (3) lower existing taxes. For instance, lower the sales tax to 6.5 percent as was originally promised by State House politicians years ago.”

Cienki concluded: “While the national economy is growing, Rhode Island is still behind and falling further by the day. Rhode Island only outpaces other states when it comes to wasteful spending like million dollar grants to campaign donors, corporate welfare programs or State House patronage. This kind of spending only makes our structural budget deficit worse. State House politicians may not think a $10 billion budget for this small state is too big, but the average Rhode Islander taxpayer knows they are already paying too much.”

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