Steven Frias, a Rhode Island Republican leader and prize winning writer, has announced his candidacy for Representative in District 15, which is currently held by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. The race presents a clear choice between Speaker Mattiello, the chief defender of Rhode Island’s failing status quo, and Frias, an articulate advocate for dramatic reforms to make Rhode Island’s economy more prosperous and its government more ethical.
Frias stated, “Rhode Island’s most powerful politician, Speaker Mattielllo, believes Rhode Island is in ‘excellent shape’ and that state ‘government actually works very well.’ Well, I have to disagree. For example, Rhode Island currently has the sixth-worst business-tax climate in the nation according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Further, Rhode Island’s structural budget deficit will grow to over $300 million dollars in a few years according to new budget projections. Moreover, in just the last two months, Rhode Island has lost nearly 4,000 jobs. To make matters worse, in less than two months, members of Mattiello’s House leadership team have become mired in scandal. This is unacceptable.”
Frias continued, “To grow our economy, the cost of doing business in Rhode Island must be significantly reduced. For starters, we should repeal the new tolls, and implement dramatic reductions in Rhode Island’s tax rates to levels below those of its neighboring states, like Massachusetts. To restore public confidence in our state government, we need reforms such as requiring legislative grants to be specifically listed in the budget, a line-item veto, restrictions on fundraising while the General Assembly is in session, requiring the General Assembly to follow open meetings laws, and term limits. It’s time we clean house at the State House!”
[From a press release]