State Budget: How Did Providence Make Out?
Saturday, June 18, 2011
City officials say they’re cautiously optimistic that the House Finance Committee’s proposed state budget has helped Providence achieve the majority of money it needed from the General Assembly for its own budget.
Last month, Mayor Angel Taveras proposed a budget that called on state lawmakers to approve four pieces of legislation that would help generate roughly $18 million for the city in its attempt to close a $110 million structural deficit.
City Spokesman: We Are Optimistic
In a statement to GoLocalProv, City Spokesman David Ortiz said the city is optimistic about how the state budget helps Providence.
“Based on an initial review, we are optimistic that this budget is a win for the people of Providence,” Ortiz said. “We thank the General Assembly for its strong effort to support the Capital City during this difficult time.”
Some Questions Remain
There still is some question as to the exact dollar amount Providence has achieved from the House Finance Committee’s budget. It appears as though the city received less in education funding than it did in Governor Lincoln Chafee’s original plan and the city stands to lose out on some money from the distressed communities program.
Still, it appears the city is poised receive at least $13 of the $18 million it hoped for if General Assembly goes on to pass the budget. The full House is expected to vote next Friday.
Council President: Fairness For All Municipalities
City Council President Michael Solomon praised the General Assembly for its commitment to taking care of cities and towns.
“I am encouraged by the General Assembly's commitment to cities and towns,” Solomon said. “Together with the Mayor, we worked to promote Providence's legislative agenda in the General Assembly, fighting for fairness for all municipalities. In the coming days our Internal Auditor will review the proposals in the state's budget and their effects on our own budget. As of now, we remain focused on the many challenges that lay ahead in Providence's near future.“
State Rep: Providence Did Okay, Thank God
House Finance Committee member and Providence State Rep. Scott Slater said that while he isn’t fully happy with the budget (he believes more aid for affordable housing should have been considered), Providence appears to have come out a winner.
Slater said he wasn’t certain on exactly how much the city will receive, but he believes it did well.
“I think Providence did okay, thank God,” Slater said. “I think they did alright. So far so good.”
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