Woman of the Year - GoLocal
Monday, December 26, 2011
In January of 2011, Gina Raimondo took office as General Treasurer and identified and took on the most complex, politically-charged financial and political issue ever to face Rhode Island – a $7.3 billion pension liability.
Not even Bruce Sundlun’s banking crisis and recession equaled this threat to Rhode Island’s economic viability.
Even without the pension crisis, Rhode Island has suffered a deep recession and unemployment rate that has been a full point higher than the national rate for more than four years.
Today, Rhode Island is the 48th ranked state in America for doing business according to Forbes magazine and is ranked 50th by CNBC. A collapse of the pension system and further decay in the state’s bond ratings would be devastating.
Her training as a venture capitalist gave her the upper hand in analyzing the business issue and crafting a solution. She worked her way across the state and despite constant union criticism she stayed on message and focused on a solution.
Raimondo’s ability to educate the public, stay away from the political firefights, and stick to the issue help Rhode Island avoid a unmatched financial disaster.
In November, legislation was passed by both Houses and signed by a pro-union governor. The adoption of the legislation could not have been accomplished without the leadership of Gina Raimondo – GoLocal’s Woman of the Year.
Moving forward in 2012, the test for Raimondo will be her willingness to help solve the municipal pension problem. Further, if she has the metal to take it on, the disability pension issue might potentially alienate both the police and firefighter unions.
- GoLocal’s Man and Woman of the Year
- Man of the Year - GoLocal
- Biggest Stories of 2011 on GoLocal
- The Biggest Stories of 2011: A Sneak Peek