Credit Where It’s Due (At Least for Rhetoric)

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Here’s a quote from Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello (D, Cranston) that one doesn’t expect to read in Rhode Island.  On the topic of a cut to funding of the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC), as reported by Lynn Arditi:

“When the money runs out the programs are off,” House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello said during a budget briefing last week. “Every time a federal grant expires everybody wants the funding to continue. You have a government that Rhode Island cannot afford.”

Of course, as Andrew’s charts make clear, the overall level funding of government arises only because an increase in local funding made up for a loss of federal revenue, but at least the speaker is articulating important points.

Also from Mattiello, yesterday, was a statement that the green-energy article of the House budget would be removed altogether.  Many on the right have seen that as a good sign, but note this sentence in the statement (emphasis added):

Over the past several days, I have received feedback on Article 18 and have reached the conclusion that there are pieces of the article that do not need to be in the budget.

Most of the legislation in Article 18 was already submitted as bills in the House and Senate.  For example, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Freedom Index shows that the controversial energy-producer interconnect component of the article has already passed the House as H7006.

So, again, at least we’re getting evidence that sounds of reality and reason are penetrating the State House walls.  Whether they’ll have a real effect (or produce consequences if they don’t), we’ll have to wait and see.



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