Rhode Island Issues that affect the people of East Providence
There is no doubt that the decisions made by state government affect the lives of Rhode Islanders. Over the past decade, we have watched as many of the institutions that we hold dear as Rhode Islanders have stopped working for the people. Gregg will work to restore faith in government to the citizens East Providence and Rhode Island as a whole.
Here are some of the issues that Gregg will address as a State Representative.
Accelerate and fully implement the RI School Funding Formula
Cities like East Providence can’t wait for the funding formula to be fully implemented. RI’s long negligence in the area of school funding has resulted in catastrophic economic consequences for our city. It’s not about increased funding; it’s about smarter distribution of that funding. The state, and not the local property tax payer, must take on more of that responsibility.
Create a public-private partnership that connects CCRI’s programs with the skill sets that Rhode Island businesses require of their employees
Act on implementation of the 21st Century Workforce Commission’s recommendations to align CCRI’s curriculum and programs to business and industry needs.
Promote Off-Shore Wind Initiatives
Clean, renewable energy is the wave of the future. Rhode Island is uniquely positioned to lead the way in supporting the building off-shore wind farms that would provide electricity for over 125,000 households. These projects will create hundreds of high paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.
Pass Marriage Equality legislation
Marriage Equality is the civil rights issue of our time. The United States Constitution does not recognize unequal treatment under the law. Rhode Island must follow its long tradition as the most tolerant state in the union and recognize same sex marriage.
RI’s Poor Business Friendly ranking is in large part due to the state’s decaying infrastructure. Projected state budget surpluses must be targeted toward important infrastructure repair.
It is time to consider a statewide teachers’ health insurance program that would significantly grow the insurance pool which would, in turn, increase bargaining power and reduce the costs to cities and towns.
Change the law making process
Far too often the General Assembly waits until the last hours of the session to vote on important budget items and other legislation. This leads to a lack of transparency and mistrust in government. Law making requires deliberation and study. I would propose legislation to set a time specific schedule for hearings and debate in order to prevent the “hurry up” nature of the current budget process. Too much important legislation is sent to the Governor’s desk after the General Assembly has recessed, making it nearly impossible to override a veto.
Repeal the Voter ID Law
The state should never make it “more” difficult to vote. There is no recent historical evidence of voter fraud in Rhode Island. Voter ID laws make it more difficult for the elderly, poor, young, and non-driving populations to cast their ballots. We should always be expanding voting rights, not limiting them. Historically, voter restriction laws have been passed to target certain voting populations, not to ensure the integrity of elections. There is no evidence that the integrity of our election process has been compromised.