No Tolls - Rhode Island is ranked as one of the worst states for roads and bridges and they must be repaired, however tolling is not the way to do it. I am against tolls in any form. Under the current plan the state will borrow $700 million which will amount to $1.2 billion taxpayer dollars being spent in the long run. I believe our state can find the funds necessary within the existing $8.7 billion budget. I am also leery of any promise to never toll cars in Rhode Island.
End Legislative and Community Grants -Although these grants go to many worthy causes the problem lies in the way they are handed out by leadership. Currently $11.6 million in Community Grants and $2.2 million in Legislative Grants are handed out at the discretion of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. This system is corrupt especially in light of recent allegations regarding the Finance Committee Chairman. I believe the current system lacks transparency and is unconstitutional. These items must be listed as line items within the budget and voted on by the legislature.
Promote Ethics Reform - Rhode Island needs ethics reform. Our elected officials in the General Assembly must be held accountable. Recently there was a proposal to give the Ethics Commission jurisdiction over the General Assembly and I support it. It will be on the November ballot.
Line Item Veto for the Governor - The line item veto is urgently needed in Rhode Island. Currently forty-four other states have this effective tool for balancing state budgets. There should be a reasonable balance of power between the legislative branch and the executive branch of government. In Rhode Island the office of Governor has very limited power in comparison to most all other states. The line item veto allows the Governor the chance to temporarily stop something in the budget without having to veto the entire budget. It adds necessary checks and balances to the budget process.
Ease Business Regulations to Create Jobs - Rhode Island is ranked 48th for business according to CNBC. A major part of the problem is job-killing regulations. Government places significant burdens on private businesses. In a survey conducted in 2013, it was reported that the volume and complexity of regulations is so extensive that one third of business owners said they had to hire a consultant to help them sort through them, in an effort to comply. Rhode Island must fairly compete with other states to attract employers and the regulatory environment here keeps many businesses away.