State of the State Analysis: Some Highs, Many Lows

Gov. Chafee delivers his State of the State speech.

On the whole Governor Chafee’s speech was disappointing.

The first big budget item: no increases in taxes or fees. So much for tax equity. In fact the corporate tax rate is to go down from 9% to 7%.

There are more millions for many worthy projects/areas: K-12 education, higher education,  infrastructure, property tax relief, and workforce development are some. No new sources of funding for the above were mentioned. So how do we pay for all of this? This was not specifically addressed by the Governor.

There was no mention of increased funding for social programs, in fact it sounded like the usual ‘hard decisions’ will be made on the backs of the disadvantaged via decreased funding. Such cuts may be one of the sources of the increased spending elsewhere in the budget.

Governor Chafee also said how well the state government works now. With all due respect, what about the poor service to the unemployed after all of the DLT staffing cuts?

There was some good news on social issues: continued strong support for marriage equality, gun control proposed, and more support for veterans. However, there was no mention of women’s health issues,  nor tax equity (see above).

On the whole the speech came across as somewhat feel-good-with-no-pain, that is, kind of unrealistic. Hopefully my concerns will not be realized.

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Member of the engineering faculty at the University of Rhode Island. Former candidate for RI state representative of Cumberland. The opinions expressed here are his own. He writes a semi-sporadic commentary series called "Uhtime", usually on RI politics, often written in the wee hours of the morn, which is where the name comes in: "uhtime" is the period just before dawn. Yes, it is a real word.

One response to “State of the State Analysis: Some Highs, Many Lows”

  1. leftyrite

    What struck me was the threadbare backdrop behind Chafee. It seemed to proclaim, “I’m in tatters, and that’s all I deserve.”

    Add to that the aquarium-like video quality and the ping pong ball mike, and you have a surefire recipe for undermining whatever charisma the gov may possess. Too few production values bespeak more than just simple laziness.

    It seems to me that Rhode Island has forgotten its hardwon craggy independence. Instead, we like to say, “Hey, there’s little difference between us and any other place that you care to colonize economically. Please take advantage of us, for which we will be forever grateful.”

    Wow. We have one of the major design schools in the world, a global heavyhitting university, a lean and mean state college and university system, truly competitive parochial and business schools, beautiful suspension bridges, hundreds of miles of coastline, two resort cities of the major league variety within rowing distance, physically handsome, reasonably polite and cultured people by and large. And all you can see is East Providence and Central Falls, which you have turned into your own little rightwing neocolonial petri dishes.

    Governor Chafee was plenty good enough, particularly compared to the competition, who are generally finance pawns and underproducers at that. Engaged, shall we say??

    But what struck me most was the way our legislature looked collectively. Some fantastic public servants, to be sure, many of them interesting women.

    But, how about those moths and hippos?? What facial expressions. What a dearth of basic manners and class. Some were fighting for wakefulness.  

    They’re ready for more video games. That was abundantly clear.

    Compared to the competition, Chafee emerged as a prince. 

    Oh, yeah, I forgot for a moment.  That’s pretty much what he is.


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