Look past the usual “Christmas culture war” story and observe how reporting of a controversy works to dismiss everything important about the underlying disagreement.
Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families. In this regard, the traditionally cited monthly unemployment rate is often used by state lawmakers as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of state economic policy initiatives. However, this rate represents a very narrow glimpse of the employment health of a state and can often paint an incomplete, or even inaccurate, snapshot of the broader economic picture.
[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]
Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.
Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.
In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.
There isn’t a whole lot in the October employment results for Rhode Island to brighten the holiday weekend.
With disappointing employment and jobs numbers for September, RI has no longer fully recovered from the recession and may see a large employment revision again in January.
Rhode Island’s employment numbers have done their annual downturn as the state falls the 49th on the Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) after five years at 48th.
For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the 2018 campaign season, specifically the races for governor and U.S. Senate.
In assessing how to react to the morally difficult decisions raised by morally compromised politicians, we have fundamental questions to decide.
The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.
Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs.
Governor Raimondo gets to know who helped fund her DACA-fee-payment campaign, but her office says the public cannot.
Lawyers for the General Assembly, many part-time with full health benefits, appear to donate quite a bit to local politicians, particularly the Speaker of the House.
The significance of Block’s voter-fraud findings depends what numbers one emphasizes, but the most reasonable number for concern is pretty big.
CommerceRI's record is an appropriate issue for the gubernatorial campaign. Lack of decision-making transparency, preferential tax deals that won't grow productivity and good paying jobs,unclear investment strategy. Plenty of examples. https://t.co/MxHyUbypjm
— gary sasse (@gssasse) December 11, 2017
Guys like me used to have to ask 10 girls to dance before one actually would. I wonder if today I would be accused of sexually harassing 90% of the female population.
— Michael Morse (@mmorsepfd) December 13, 2017
Perhaps it’s just the moment and the particular set of issues raised, but a quick-hit Providence Journal interview with Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo feels like a bit of a change in tone, from backing away from legalizing pot to holding back on school construction bonds.
A couple of points are worth teasing out:
“Look,” Raimondo said Tuesday, “I think it would be really sad if we lost the PawSox to Worcester …. But no, I am not going to get into a bidding war. We can’t afford a bidding war. We have a deal on the table now. I would say: Go ahead and pass that deal.”
“I am not going to get bid up, and pay more than we can afford, so we don’t lose it to Charlie Baker,” she said.
This is particularly nice to see. Rhode Island has lost thousands of residents in recent decades because the state didn’t want, essentially, to bid for them to stay by making it easier to make it in Rhode Island. Why should a minor league baseball team get better treatment?
Raimondo said her budget proposal will honor the next promised $25-million cut in local car taxes, part of a multi-year phaseout plan lawmakers approved earlier this year.
This is interesting. Last week on the radio, John DePetro and I had some fun speculating that Democrat Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello of Cranston was sending signals to Raimondo. First, he was seen chatting with her potential Democrat primary foe, Lincoln Chafee, and then his shadow could be seen around the edges of Joe Trillo’s bizarre declaration of his intent to stage a third-party campaign that would almost certainly split the vote against Raimondo.
Holding to the car tax elimination, which the speaker championed, could be a sign that the messages have been received and an agreement struck.
Interviews & Profiles
Arthur Christopher Schaper asks illegal immigration expert Jessica Vaughn about the consequences of sanctuary city policies under former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.
Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss the candidates for U.S. Congress from Rhode Island (mostly by way of the issues).
Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss a debate between candidates for RI Secretary of State and related topics.