PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lt. Governor Daniel J. McKee tonight issued the following statement after Gov. Gina M. Raimondo's budget address to the General Assembly:
"Gov. Raimondo has laid out a bold agenda that will stimulate economic development, grow jobs and lay the foundation for Rhode Island's comeback.
As a former mayor, I was particularly encouraged to see her commitment to our municipalities, which in past years have been underrepresented at the State House.
Her budget maintains current levels of funding to cities and towns. It proposes a new investment of $20 million in a School Building Authority for the renovation of schools in dire need of repair. It invests in sound infrastructure by fully funding the Municipal Road and Bridge project. And, in a program developed with General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, it supports an Infrastructure Bank for projects that will make state, municipal and commercial buildings more energy-efficient.
I was especially heartened the governor included $100,000 in seed money for a new Municipal Innovation Fund in support of her recent Executive Order putting my office in charge of efforts to help municipalities save money through the sharing of services. The fund will provide an incentive for municipal leaders to collaborate in creative ways to deliver services more efficiently and build partnerships that are likely to reduce redundancies and the unnecessary spending of limited taxpayer dollars.
The governor's budget plan also makes critical investments in education. It provides $1.4 million in funding for universal full-day kindergarten in every community next year, and would direct $1 million to more than triple the number of pre-K classrooms in the next few years.
Gov. Raimondo knows our state can't be successful without financially sound cities and towns, and she is committed to a robust partnership with them. I encourage members of our General Assembly, municipal leaders and my fellow Rhode Islanders to support this budget as we all work together to build a better Rhode Island."
Contact: Erika Niedowski, 401-222-1445, firstname.lastname@example.org