With election behind us, but with serious challenges from the pandemic persisting, RIPEC brings you a brief update on major public policy issues impacting Rhode Island
RIPEC on Public Policy
- In a recently released Policy Brief, RIPEC analyzes Rhode Island’s improvement in The Tax Foundation’s 2021 Business Tax Climate Index and makes recommendations to policymakers to help Rhode Island continue on its current trajectory.
- Providence Business News, “RIPEC suggests steps to boost R.I. business tax climate”
- Providence Journal, “Group says better tax rankings are reason not to tax rich”
- RIPEC and the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies at Bryant University jointly released the Current Economic Indicator Briefing for the third quarter of 2020, reporting that economic activity in Rhode Island grew and a significant number of jobs were recovered as compared to the second quarter, but that economic activity continues to be severely constrained.
- Providence Journal, “RI economy sprang back this summer, but lags region, nation”
- Providence Business News, “Report: Despite job gains, R.I. economic activity ‘severely constrained’ in Q3”
- RIPEC’s report on school reopening and increased inequity across Rhode Island’s public K-12 system continues to receive media coverage.
- Despite a progressive challenge in the Rhode Island Senate, President Dominick Ruggerio and Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey are both set to retain leadership roles in the Senate come January. However, following the recent electoral successes by progressives, the Senate has outlined a more progressive agenda than in previous years.
- In contrast to the Senate’s policy commitments, Speaker-in-waiting Joseph Shekarchi has yet to commit to any specific policy goals, but has signaled openness to both increasing taxes or cutting spending to address projected revenue shortfalls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- An end to the COVID-19 pandemic could be on the horizon, despite a recent uptick in cases, with Rhode Island chosen to be part of a pilot program for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
What to Look for in December
- The state remains without a budget for fiscal year 2021 over five months into the fiscal year. While the logistics of convening the legislature remains somewhat in flux, there is an expectation that a budget for the current fiscal year will be passed before Christmas.
- Later this month, RIPEC is set to release the 2020 edition of “How Rhode Island Compares,” an analysis of how the Ocean State’s revenues and expenditures compare to the other 49 states and the national average.
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