$134M Gap Endangers New Budget Proposals in Rhode Island

Rhode Island lawmakers are reviewing costly new budget proposals, including a high-profile initiative to provide two years of free college tuition and a repeal of an unpopular car tax, as projections force them to cut nearly $134 million from the governor's spending plan.

The chief fiscal adviser for the state House of Representatives, Sharon Reynolds Ferland, told the Finance Committee on Thursday that updated forecasts show less revenue to work with and higher-than-expected spending by state agencies.

Lawmakers must now close the sizable gap in Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo's $9.3 billion plan for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Raimondo says legislators should still pass some version of her college tuition plan. Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he believes there is still support for his car tax repeal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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