Governor Gina Raimondo on Friday signed the $8.9 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, calling it a "terrific" plan that will position Rhode Island for economic growth.
During a Statehouse signing ceremony, the governor applauded the General Assembly, particularly House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, for including the vast majority of her initiatives in the spending plan. She acknowledged Rhode Island still has a significant need for more jobs.
“But this budget reduces our structural deficit, involves no broad-based tax increases, reduces key business taxes, and makes record investments in education, workforce development and economic development. It is an expression of our priorities,” Raimondo said.
Republican lawmakers argued during budget debates that the state should target more tax cuts and reducing spending.
Senate Finance Chairman Daniel DaPonte (D-East Providence), a financial adviser, was absent from the event during to instability in financial markets following the UK vote to leave the European Union.
Raimondo, who studied at Oxford as a Rhode Scholar, said she was surprised by the result of the vote.
“In many ways, it’s not that different from what you see in America," she said. "People are frustrated, people are expressing their frustration and anger, and so we’re just going to have to see how this plays out. Obviously, it’s very destabilizing and I share the concern that it’s destabilizing.”