As policymakers continue to grapple with uncertain economic conditions, RIPEC brings you an update on public policy developments in the Ocean State.
RIPEC on Public Policy
- RIPEC released a comprehensive roadmap on education reform in Rhode Island, titled “Improving Rhode Island’s K-12 Schools: Where Do We Go From Here?” The report includes a detailed history of reform efforts and an analytical study of data about Rhode Island’s teachers and students, including achievement results, demographics, and absenteeism over time and in comparison to other states and across school districts. The report concludes that, with unacceptably low student outcomes and stark achievement gaps, the state’s K-12 system is in crisis. RIPEC offers actionable recommendations that can be achieved in the upcoming legislative session.
- The Providence Journal, “Rhode Island’s public education system is in crisis,’ says local policy non-profit”
- The Boston Globe, “Rhode Map: How to fix Rhode Island’s education crisis, according to RIPEC”
- WPRI 12, “Report: Rhode Island’s K-12 education system is in crisis”
- Providence Business News, “RIPEC: R.I’s K-12 education system is in crisis“
- Commenting on new estimates from fiscal year (FY) 2022 showing that state general revenues in Rhode Island continue to exceed estimates, RIPEC President and CEO Michael DiBiase observed that “the governor and General Assembly could have over $400 million in extra revenues to work with” in the coming fiscal year. In its recent report on the enacted FY 2023 state budget, RIPEC commented that estimated revenues were likely overly conservative, and recommended that the state use excess revenues to increase the rainy day fund and seek to improve the state’s business tax climate.
- As state policymakers consider proposals for providing relief to customers facing electric rate hikes this winter, Michael DiBiase cautioned against committing one-time surplus or federal funds for these purposes without a more long-term plan, given that energy costs could remain high for the foreseeable future.
- The National Association of State Budget Officers published a summary of state enacted budgets for FY 2023. Finding that many states experienced large budget surpluses, the report notes that investments in job training programs, pay raises and incentives for teachers and other public employees, and a mix of one-time and permanent tax relief were common uses of surplus funds.
What to Look for in October
- RIPEC will celebrate its 90th anniversary at its annual meeting on October 24 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Guests will network, hear remarks from state leaders, and honor RIPEC’s distinguished public service award winners. Ron Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst, Senior Editor for The Atlantic, and Contributing Editor for National Journal, will deliver the keynote address. Members of the public interested in attending can purchase tickets through RIPEC’s website.
- In partnership with Bryant University’s Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies, RIPEC will publish the Rhode Island Key Performance Indicators Quarterly Briefing for the third quarter of 2022.