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Republican Policy Group Unveils Effort To Cut Wasteful Spending

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The Republican Policy Group, a group of GOP lawmakers, unveiled an effort Wednesday to reduce wasteful state spending. They held a Statehouse news...

The Republican Policy Group, a group of GOP lawmakers, unveiled an effort Wednesday to reduce wasteful state spending.

They held a Statehouse news conference to tout Waste-O-Meter -- a giant thermometer meant to highlight government waste.

State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) said the Republican Policy Group is looking for the public's help in identifying wasteful spending.

"We have set up a hot line and an email address for members of the public to call," Morgan said in a statement. "The phone number is 401-222-6123 and the email address is houseminority@rilegislature.gov. All identifying information will be kept private. We pledge to investigate any tips. If they are proven valid, we will add them to the Waste-O-Meter. If you have seen something, call or email us.  Let your voice be heard and the waste be found.”

Morgan said reporters have "done a great job of exposing wasteful practices and spending in our state government. They report findings and citizens fume about the waste. After a few days, the frustration dies down and the people of Rhode Island continue with their busy lives, forgetting about the latest assault to their wallets. Those in charge are not held responsible for the waste and so it continues, without corrective action. Policymakers should demand and provide oversight, but they don't. No one is held accountable."

To kick off the Waste-O-Meter, the Republican Policy Group unveiled a top 10 of items encompassing more than $6 million in spending.

Included on today's Waste-O-Meter are the following 10 items, totaling $6,967,000:

  1. Staff transferred to other agencies but still in DOT’s budget: $383,000 and counting. http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151230/NEWS/151239924/13815
  2. Exonerated Staff on Admin Leave:  $195,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151230/NEWS/151239924/13815
  3. Newly Invented Positions: $360,000
  4. Wickford Station Breach of Contract: $750,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151210/NEWS/151219861
  5. Uncollected Contractor Overpayments: $381,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150920/NEWS/150929903
  6. Unbudgeted Contract Services 2015: $250,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150909/NEWS/150909316
  7. Economic Impact study of the toll proposal: $50,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150901/NEWS/150909930
  8. Unnecessary Overtime 7/1/15 -9/19/15: $1,344,000  http://www.transparency.ri.gov/payroll/verify_prep.php
  9. 'Temporary' IWay Jersey Barriers Jersey Barrier Consultants(3): $154,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151001/NEWS/151009844
  10. Below Standard IWay concrete(2008) : $3,100,000 http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151001/NEWS/151009844

The Republican Policy Group during a news conference last October.
The Republican Policy Group during a news conference last October.