Cano Wins Special Election for Senate Seat

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

 

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Sandra Cano

Pawtucket Councilwoman Sandra Cano won the Tuesday special election for state Senate District 8 in Pawtucket.  

Cano garnered 629 votes versus Republican Nathan Luciano 234 votes, with another 11 write-in votes, in that special election.

She takes the seat previously held by Jamie Doyle -- he had resigned the seat in January.

Cano, a graduate of Harvard University’s Executive Leadership program, the University of Rhode Island graduate school in public administration and Bryant University’s business management program.

Pawtucket has been hit hard recently with the exodus of the Gamm Theater, the closing of Memorial Hospital, and the potential loss of Hasbro -- the toy company is looking to consolidate its RI operations into a sinlge campus, potentially in Providence.

“I am overwhelmed by the support Pawtucket voters have shown me, during this special election and in tonight’s win,” said Cano. “It is a great honor to be elected to serve as their state senator, and to take on the challenges that face our city and state at this time. Senate Democrats and the leadership have been so supportive of my bid for office: I promise to bring the same commitment to community that I have given these many years as a Pawtucket elected leader,” she said.

President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio said, “Sandra’s victory is a result of her hard work on behalf of the people of Pawtucket and her vision for our great state. I am very pleased to welcome her to the Senate, where we will work together to make Pawtucket and our state an even better place to live and work.”

“Tonight’s decisive win shows that the people of our state are looking for strong, qualified Democratic leaders and Sandra Cano is just such a leader,” said R.I. Democratic Party Chair Joseph M. McNamara. “Rhode Island is lucky to have her in the General Assembly and we look forward to more of the Blue Wave in the months ahead.”

On hand to take results Tuesday evening were Mayors Donald Grebien of Pawtucket and James Diossa of Central Falls, who both cheered the results of the Pawtucket Senator-elect’s race.

“While I’m disappointed to lose a great city councilwoman, I know she will continue to do great things for the city of Pawtucket and the state of Rhode Island in her new capacity as a state senator,” said Mayor Grebien. “She is incredibly talented and committed to the people whom she serves and she’ll be an even greater state senator.”   

“I’ve had the honor of knowing and working with Sandra Cano for many years,” said Mayor James Diossa. “She’ll be an effective and compassionate leader who will advocate for economic opportunity and business growth for our residents and will bring her experience – in city service and in the private sector – to the many challenges that lie ahead,” he said.

Senator-elect Cano is expected to be sworn in later this month following certification of the vote and absentee ballots.

 

Related Slideshow: New PawSox Deal—December, 2017

Here are the provisions of the legislation according to the Senate Finance Committee,

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Compliance with Public Corporation Debt Management Act: The legislation was amended to better conform to the requirements of the State’s Public Corporation Debt Management Act, or “Kushner Act.” The Budget Office’s fiscal note indicated that the bill as originally written did not meet these requirements. The statute requires that financing leases to which the state is a party must be authorized by the General Assembly through resolution. The resolution must include the maximum possible obligation of the state. The original language only listed the value of the principal to be borrowed and not the cost of issuance and total debt service. The amended language more clearly identifies the maximums as $41.0 million, $26.0 million, and $18.0 million for the Series A, B, and C bonds respectively.

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Naming Rights: Based on the fact that the Pawtucket’s redevelopment agency will be the owner of the new ballpark and the determination that Pawtucket will experience a gap between new revenue and its annual debt obligation until sufficient ancillary development has taken place, S-0989 was amended to direct 50 percent of the ballpark naming rights revenue to the City of Pawtucket to assist with its annual debt service payment. This revenue is estimated to be $250,000.

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Ticket Pricing: Based on the determination that Pawtucket will experience a gap between new revenue and its annual debt obligation until sufficient ancillary development has taken place, S-0989 was amended to reflect the transfer of the premium ticket surcharge revenue from the state to the city. The bill clarifies the definition of a “ticket” and was amended to include language memorializing the team’s commitment not to raise ticket prices for five years.

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50K sq. ft. Ancillary Development: The legislation requires any future lease to include a provision that the team develop a minimum of 50,000 sq. ft. of real estate contemporaneously with the construction of the ballpark.

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Maintenance and Capital Improvement: S-0989 was amended so that any future lease must contain a requirement that the team is responsible for the daily, operational maintenance of the ballpark and its costs. The lease must also explicitly make clear that the state is not responsible for operational maintenance. The lease shall require that the team be responsible for a minimum 50 percent of annual capital expenditures and that the city, state, and team must contribute a minimum of $150,000 in total per year into a capital expenditure fund to finance capital expenditures. The parties will be required to develop a multi-year capital improvement plan detailing expected, future capital projects and outlays. No capital expenditure funds shall be used for operational maintenance.

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Construction Costs: The $12.0 million of equity pledged by team owners is required by the legislation to be the first funds expended towards the construction costs of the new ballpark. In the event that land acquisition and ballpark construction costs come in less than $83.0 million, the savings shall be distributed on a pro-rata basis to the team, city, and state at a rate of 46.5 percent, 32.4 percent, and 21.1 percent respectively. Lastly, any construction cost overruns that exist will be paid by the team.

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Public Park: The bill memorializes the commitment by the parties of making the new ballpark available as a public park facility. The bill requires the lease to contain a provision directing the city to provide planning and operational assistance on public park aspects of the park. The lease must also specify that the facility will be operated year-round in and around the ballpark, separate and apart from the ballpark’s baseball-related uses, in order to create public recreational, social, and communal benefits.

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Green Design & RIIB Financing: S-0989 was amended to encourage the use of energy efficient and sustainable design, construction, and operations at the new ballpark. It encourages the use of financing programs available through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including, to the extent practicable, the State Revolving Funds and the Efficient Buildings Fund, which provide low cost financing for eligible renewable and energy efficiency, stormwater abatement, water conservation, and other sustainable infrastructure projects.

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Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance: The legislation was amended to affirm the requirement that the team comply with fair labor standards. Employers associated with the business of the ballpark, including the team, would be required to adhere to state and federal Fair Labor Standards practices, including provisions that prevent labor misclassification by incorrectly designating workers as “independent contractors.”

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Lease Conditions: The lease is required to be for 30 years and must be reviewed and approved by the State Properties Commission prior to the issuance of bonds.

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Eminent Domain: Based on the concerns expressed during public testimony and a subsequent determination that the need for this expansion was overstated, S-0990 was amended to eliminate the expansion of eminent domain powers under the Redevelopment Act and to restore the definition of “blighted and substandard” throughout the bill.

 
 

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