6/5/18 - Personal income tax collections rise 8.1% from FY17 through April
Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 Cash Collections Report for April 2018. The Cash Collections Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares current fiscal year cash collections by revenue item on a fiscal year-to-date and monthly basis to prior fiscal year cash collections by revenue item. The cash collections report makes no adjustments for the timeliness of the receipt of revenues and provides readers with insight into the state's cash flow over the course of the fiscal year.
6/4/18 - R.I. Department of Revenue releases February 2018 local hotel tax report
Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 Local 1.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report for February 2018. The Local 1.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares the collections from the state's local 1.0 percent hotel tax on a month-to-month, year-over-year, and fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date basis. The local 1.0 percent hotel tax is collected on the rental of rooms in the state and remitted, in full, to the municipality in which the room rental was located.
5/31/18 - RIDOH Awards Grants for Projects to Address Public Health and Climate Change
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has awarded $42,000 in grants to 10 local groups to work on projects related to climate change education and community resilience, all aimed at helping communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from the adverse health effects of climate change.
The grants will fund 10 projects across the state. The work of the awardees will focus on various communities, including the Cape Verdean community, people who are incarcerated, young people, senior citizens, and residents more vulnerable to heat and flooding.
5/31/18 - Raimondo, Deepwater Wind Announce 800+ Jobs
R.I.-based Deepwater Wind will invest $250 million locally on project, including $40 million on private investment at ProvPort and Quonset
Construction activities for Revolution Wind project to start in 2020
Project will provide enough energy to power 200,000+ Rhode Island homes
Raimondo positioning Rhode Island as hub for North America's offshore wind industry
5/30/18 - Raimondo, DEM, Partners Announce Over $210,000 In Grants To Local Food Businesses
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), along with its partners, today awarded over $210,000 to 21 local food businesses as part of its annual Agriculture "Ag" Day celebration at the State House. The awards, funded under the Local Agriculture & Seafood Act (LASA) grant program, help new and existing small businesses and food initiatives prosper in Rhode Island.
"Agriculture Day shines a bright light on Rhode Island's vibrant food scene and rich agricultural and fishing heritage," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Today's Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grants will help nurture new food ventures and grow our state's green economy. I congratulate all grant recipients and look forward to celebrating the success of these outstanding initiatives."
5/25/18 - Raimondo, DEM To Mark Growth Of Green Economy With 17th Annual Agriculture Day Next Week
PROVIDENCE – As part of her continued efforts to grow Rhode Island's green economy, Governor Raimondo will join the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and partners next week to mark the 17th anniversary of Agriculture Day in Rhode Island; as part of the event, over $210,000 in grants to local farmers and community groups will be announced.
5/24/18 - After years-long fight, Treasurer Magaziner takes nation's largest student loan servicing company to task
Two years of obstruction and tactical maneuvering weren't enough to keep a large coalition of shareholders, led by Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, from taking Navient Corp., the nation's largest student loan servicer, to task over its role in the growing national student debt crisis today at the company's annual meeting.
This is the first time shareholders have had the opportunity to vote on Treasurer Magaziner's proposal, which would require the company to provide shareholders with an analysis of risks and potential governance failures related to the student loan crisis.
5/23/18 - Pension Fund earns $55.4 million in April, outperforms benchmarks
Rhode Island's pension fund continued to deliver strong performance in April, earning $55.4 million. The fund's 0.67 percent return outperformed its own benchmark of 0.35 percent, as well as a traditional 60% stock/40% bonds strategy which would have returned 0.28 percent.
5/23/18 - Rhode Island and Massachusetts Announce Largest Procurement of Offshore Wind in Nation's History
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Building on her commitment to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future, Governor Gina Raimondo announced today that Rhode Island has selected Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island-based clean energy developer, to construct a new, 400-megawatt offshore wind farm. The Revolution Wind project--more than ten times the size of the Block Island Wind Farm--was selected through a competitive offshore wind procurement process in collaboration with Massachusetts.
5/22/18 - RIDOT Reopening Bridge, Closing Another in East Providence
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced the next phase of a multi-bridge project in East Providence with the reopening of the Potter Street Bridge on Tuesday, May 29. The bridge was closed in mid-March for concrete repairs, bridge joint work and resurfacing.
The project involves work on three bridges over I-195 that are close to one another, each serving local traffic in the neighborhoods north and south of the highway corridor. RIDOT's project will address all three bridges, but always keep two out of the three bridges open at all times to minimize disruption for traffic using either of the other two bridges as a detour.
5/22/18 - Four companies. Thousands of jobs. $800 million of private development
Food processing company moving to Rhode Island. Will build new $100 million facility, create 700 food manufacturing jobs, support 400+ construction jobs; Quonset infrastructure investments support 1,300 manufacturing jobs and hundreds of jobs for Building Trades;
Maritime manufacturer iXblue moving to Rhode Island from Massachusetts; (add)ventures expands in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI- Governor Gina M. Raimondo chaired a busy meeting of the Commerce Corporation today and made a major jobs announcement representing new opportunities for Rhode Islanders at all skill levels. In all, partnerships were approved with four companies bringing a total of more than 2,000 permanent jobs, $800 million in private development and more than 1,000 construction jobs to Rhode Island. Over 15 years, these four projects will add $118 million in new net revenue to the state.
5/17/18 - State Government Press Releases Rhode Island Breaks Jobs Record Again
State adds 900 jobs in April; Most manufacturing jobs in nearly a decade
PROVIDENCE, RI - For the fifth time in seven months, Rhode Island has set a new jobs record. There are currently 499,300 jobs in Rhode Island and the number of Rhode Islanders working is the highest it's been in a decade, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Governor Gina M. Raimondo released the following statement on the April Jobs Reports:
"This month's jobs report is yet another signal that our economy continues to get stronger, and that our recovery is including more and more Rhode Islanders. Our new approach to job training and economic development is working. Jobs are at an all-time high, we've gone from #49 in the U.S. to #1 in wage growth, and our economy has gone from #36 to ninth best in the nation. Because we didn't give up on Rhode Islanders who make a living making things, we've added 1,200 manufacturing jobs in the last year.
"We need to build on our progress and can't afford to go back to the old way of doing things. Let's keep going, and let's keep working until everyone has the economic security they deserve."
Select highlights from the April Jobs Report follow: • 499,300 total jobs, an all-time high. Rhode Island has set new records for jobs five times in the last seven months. • Rhode Island has added 16,500 jobs since Governor Raimondo took office and 7,200 over the last 12 months. • Manufacturing jobs: +400 compared to March 2018; +1,200 compared to April 2017. There are currently 41,600 manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island - the most since May 2009. • Labor force is up 900 compared to last month and up 5,600 over the last 12 months.
5/17/18 - Treasurer Magaziner Launches New Portal for Bond Investors
Continuing his commitment to provide additional transparency on Rhode Island's public finances, Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced the launch of a new, dedicated information platform for bond investors at RhodeIslandBonds.com.
"Bonds are essential to finance projects that improve schools, transportation and other quality of life projects that are important for Rhode Island communities to grow, "said Treasurer Magaziner. "This new web portal offers a new, more transparent and user-friendly way to provide investors with information about State and municipal bond offerings."
With thousands of pages of data and documents, Rhode Island's new investor portal provides insight into the credit fundamentals behind the state's bond ratings. RhodeIslandBonds.com consolidates the State's credit data and documents, providing comprehensive, sortable and searchable financial information to institutional and retail bond investors, as well as credit ratings agencies.
The goal of the new investor portal is to attract more investors to Rhode Island's bond program, increasing the demand for bonds. A broader, more diversified pool of investors can help lower the cost of borrowing for public infrastructure and reduce the burden on Rhode Island taxpayers.
This launch is one in a series of steps that the Treasurer has taken to improve the State's position in the bond marketplace. In 2016, Treasurer Magaziner conducted the state's first competitive sale of tax-exempt bonds in nearly a decade, resulting in $2.7 million of net savings in debt service costs for Rhode Island taxpayers. In 2017, he released the most comprehensive Debt Affordability Study in the State's history, setting new debt affordability targets for the first time since 1999.
5/17/18 - RIDOT Buys Specialized Trucks to Increase Bridge Maintenance Capabilities
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today unveiled a new vehicle that will greatly increase the Department's ability to maintain its bridges with regular cleanings to remove road salts, sand and other debris.
RIDOT purchased a fleet of six of these tanker trucks, which are outfitted with a series of high pressure water nozzles that allow the operator to clean the sides and deck of a bridge in a moving operation, generally at 5-10 mph. On average, the trucks are capable of cleaning five to six bridges a day, depending on their size. They also will significantly reduce the time needed to close a travel lane for maintenance.
5/16/18 Raimondo Congratulates Potter Burns, University of Rhode Island on National Environmental Efficiency Recognition
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Potter Burns Elementary School in Pawtucket has been selected as a 2018 Green Ribbon School, and the University of Rhode Island has been selected as a Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee. These awards recognize educational institutions that have reduced their environmental impact, improved the health and wellness of their school environment and provided effective education on sustainability.
5/16/18 - Advisory Opinion 18-02 Open Meetings Agenda Posting
The Rhode Island Secretary of State sought guidance as to whether using an electronic kiosk to post Open Meetings Act information was proper. We concluded that the proposed electronic kiosk that is physically present outside the State Library complies with R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-6(c). We also found that the OMA did not prohibit the electronic kiosk from linking to the Secretary of State's website.
5/15/18 - Governor Announces Recipients Of Farm Energy Grants
Farms in Foster, Little Compton, and Smithfield will use $54,000 in funding for renewable energy investments to "green" their operations and save money
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, today announced $54,634 in grants to help farmers "green" their operations and save energy and money. The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program (RIFEP), will support solar and energy efficiency projects at three local farms across the state.
"By reducing energy costs, these grants will help Rhode Island farming families keep farming and grow their businesses," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Our commitment to investing in clean energy will help create jobs and protect the beauty of our state for generations. This is a win for Rhode Island farmers and for all Rhode Islanders."
5/14/18 - January 2018 Hotel Tax Report now available
Providence, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Department of Revenue today released its FY 2018 State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Collections Report for January 2018. The State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Allocation Report, which is issued on a monthly basis, compares the collections from the state's 5.0 percent hotel tax on a year-over-year, and fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date basis. The state 5.0 percent hotel tax is collected on the rental of rooms in the state and distributed based on the formula contained in Rhode Island General Law Chapter 44-63.1 entitled "Tourism and Development."
Expansion of the State 5.0 Percent Hotel Tax Base The January 2018 report includes the state 5.0 percent hotel tax collections generated by the rental of lodging via hosting platforms and by on-line travel companies (room resellers) for all municipalities, except the City of Newport, for the period of July through September 2016 and July 2017 through January 2018. In March 2017, the Division of Taxation distributed state hotel tax collections from room resellers and hosting platforms rental activity that occurred between October 2016 and January 2017, inclusive. These figures are included in the year-over-year and fiscal year-to-date over fiscal year-to-date collections for FY 2017. Thus, collections for January 2017 are likely overstated
5/14/18 - Secretary of State Gorbea releases Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding recommendations
PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea today presented her recommendations on how to best protect the security of elections in Rhode Island with the $3 million of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding allocated to the state. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 allocated $380 million nationwide to use towards election security. Secretary Gorbea serves as the state's Chief Elections Official under HAVA and her recommendations come after convening a Task Force to discuss best practices in cybersecurity and elections administration in Rhode Island. The recommendations will be presented to Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly for review and inclusion in the FY19 state budget. The project initiatives will also be provided to the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
"As Secretary of State, I have been working to improve access to the ballot box, while protecting the integrity of every vote," Gorbea said. "After a robust conversation with a diverse group of stakeholders, I'm confident these recommendations will help us further strengthen the security of elections in Rhode Island. I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly on implementing these recommendations over the next few months."
5/14/18 - 8,000 Rhode Islanders with To Be Reunited With $1.3 Million Under Treasurer Magaziner's YOUR MONEY Program
Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced that checks will be mailed to more than 8,000 Rhode Islanders this week under the his new YOUR MONEY program, which automatically reunites Rhode Islanders with their unclaimed property.
"For hard-working Rhode Island families, a little extra cash can make a big difference," said Treasurer Magaziner. "Through the YOUR MONEY initiative, we are now able to efficiently reunite many Rhode Islanders with missing money that is rightfully theirs."
Treasurer Magaziner's YOUR MONEY initiative matches unclaimed property lists with known addresses, which means that for thousands of people, their missing money can be returned to them automatically – with no paperwork required. In the past, every resident had to check the state's online database to see if they have unclaimed property and then submit a claim form.
Seizing an opportunity to save taxpayers millions, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced $7.2 million in savings found by refunding $70 million in state debt to take advantage of more favorable interest rates.
"Rhode Islanders deserve to know that they have an advocate in state government who making sure that public borrowing is done responsibly and affordably," said Treasurer Magaziner. "I created Treasury's Office of Debt Management to make sure we are taking advantage of opportunities to save money and implement responsible borrowing practices throughout the state."
Of the $7.2 million in savings for the state, $3.4 million will be saved in the upcoming fiscal year alone. As the outstanding principal was reduced from $70.4 million to $66.9 million.
S&P says Rhode Island 2017A, B GO bonds assigned 'AA' ratings; other ratings affirmed
Says the 'AA' rating on the series 2017 bonds reflects view of Rhode Island's good incomes on par with the nation
Outlook on all ratings is stable
Rhode Island voters will be asked to approve five bond measures totaling $227.5 million in the Nov. 8 election.
The ballot questions ask voters to allow the state to issue general obligation bonds to improve seaports in Providence and at Quonset Point; build affordable housing, university buildings and a new veteran’s home; and expand recreational areas.
The state estimates the total cost of the bonds after two decades of interest will be nearly $365 million. All of the measures are backed by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, who has described them as vital to improving the state’s economy and quality of life. None have organized opposition, though some have vocal opponents.
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