Legislation aims to create predictable funding stream for local infrastructure investment, create jobs
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today testified in support of a legislative proposal that takes action to spur economic growth, while improving Rhode Island's locally-maintained roads and bridges. Testimony on H-6059, a bill creating the Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund, was heard before the House Finance Committee this afternoon. Speaker Gordon Fox is the proposal's lead sponsor.
"As leaders, our top priority is getting our economy moving again by taking action and creating opportunities for growth and job creation," said Raimondo. "Establishing a predictable, innovative and cost-saving alternative for cities and towns to finance their road and bridge improvements is an important cornerstone to building a vibrant economy for our state."
H-6059 is sponsored by Speaker Gordon Fox, along with Rep. Mia Ackerman, Rep. Kenneth Marshall, Rep. Mary Duffy Messier and Rep. Elaine Coderre.
In March, Fox called H-6059 a strategic policy proposal that links proven, smart financing for infrastructure with an opportunity for steady growth and job creation. This proposal is part of Fox's economic development package.
The proposed Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund calls for the program to be administered by the well-regarded Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency.
This legislative proposal will:
• Build on the success of the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Authority, an expansion modeled after other states
• Provide municipal access to capital at lower-rates for long-range planning and infrastructure investment
• Provide local budget relief by lowering annual debt service payments
• Create economic opportunities for the construction trades and their suppliers
• Continue the momentum of pension reform: The state is viewed positively by investors and can affordably access the bond markets for important infrastructure funding, and there is more room in the budget to consider proposals like this