STATE BUDGET: “The Numbers Scare You to Death,” Says House Finance Chair Abney

Thursday, December 07, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

House Finance Chair Marvin Abney
The ever-growing budget problem in Rhode Island is triggering deep concerns from the key fiscal legislator, House Finance Committee Chair Marvin Abney.

Abney appeared on GoLocal LIVE with News Editor Kate Nagle on Wednesday and expressed his concerns about the management of the budget and the urgency in which Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration is taking on the issues.

Abney would not say the budget is being mismanaged by the Raimondo administration, but came close.

“…where the department's managed better or could they have been managed better now I don't like to get into food fights with you know with the administration… but there is no doubt that there are some communications that could be better…,” Abney said

Both the present year’s budget and next year’s are both facing significant holes. RI’s Budget Office said the present fiscal year is now trending to hit a deficit of more than $60 million.

More concerning is next years deficit is now trending to hit a $204 million shortfall. Deeply concerning is the impact of the now looming federal tax reform legislation that adversely impact northeastern states due to the reduction of the deductibility of state and local taxes

Questions are emerging about the Raimondo Administration’s management. A broken Department of Children Youth and Family is under legislative oversight. UHIP’s failure to meet minimum benchmarks to provide food stamps led to federal court intervention. Last month, federal court judge Will Smith appointed a special master - Deming Sherman to force corrective action on the Raimondo administration.

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