Murphy Speaks

Newsmakers with Tim White (and Ian Donnis and Arlene Violet) had House Speaker William Murphy on this morning. Here is some of what he had to say (rough transcription, folks).
Ian Donnis mentioned how the RI Legislature has typically been shortsighted–the tobacco money grab–and how that gave the impression that there was no long term planning. Murphy replied that the emphasis has always been on balancing the budget–a short-term item–over long term planning. Now, during a “tough economic time” it’s “easy to make changes.”
Arlene Violet mentioned that cities and towns have come to expect help, and more of it, year after year. Murphy said this year cities and towns are prepared for less because state aid isn’t going to be the same. Wouldn’t commit to repealing the Carullo act, but recognized the difficulty it posed in tandem with the property tax cap.
Ian Donnis mentioned Murphy had cited a goal of growing the RI Economy back in 2007. What’s happened? Murphy said he was disappointed and he thinks the EDC’s biggest failing was in the P.R. He based this on meetings he’s had with businesses who have been “amazed” with what they’ve seen in RI. Mentioned that the overall cost of doing business-specifically cited energy costs–was more in RI.
Donnis said we’d never be as cheap as the South, so what can we do? Murphy reiterated that we as RIers (specifically public officials and the media) have to be more positive about our state. Tim White challenged Murphy on that and asked, don’t we need fundamental changes?
Murphy said we have done this, especially with regards to modifying the tax structure.
White asked about the newly retired state college workers who are collecting a pension and a paycheck by working part time. White also mentioned the 75 day rule that applies for teachers (whereby they can retire and then return to the job 75 days later). Murphy said that we should revisit and that he and many in the House were “taken aback,” His intents is to “close the loophole” as long as doing so doesn’t make another problem.
Arlen Violet asked about a statewide health contract. Murphy said we made some headway last year, but everything is on the table. The opportunity is here to make some changes in preparation for when we come out of this recession.
Donnis asked about tax credits (specifically movies). Murphy cited the historical tax credit and that it had done wonders, though it needed to be tweaked. RIers benefited from the jobs created and abandoned property has been put on the rolls. Supported the movie tax credit and thinks it brings jobs to RI. Donnis asked for hard numbers and Murphy referred to Steve Feinberg. Donnis wouldn’t settle for that, but Murphy could only say that he knows they’re working on it and that the National Governors Organization supports such a program and also cited Massachusetts. (He wasn’t comfortable with this line of questioning).
Tim White asked about the pension commission and asked if there is any progress. Murphy said the report is coming…

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Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“Murphy said he was disappointed and he thinks the EDC’s biggest failing was in the P.R.”
“Murphy said we have done this, especially with regards to modifying the tax structure.”
Please, Mr. Speaker, don’t stop now! There’s lots more work to do.

John
John
12 years ago

How could we have been so blind?!! It’s all just a PR problem!!
You just cannot make this stuff up. Too bad Murphy’s quote couldn’t have made it into the Washington Post article about why things are so bad in RI.
Nation’s most generous and expensive welfare programs? No problem.
Nation’s most generous benefits for public sector union employees? And its most underfunded pension plans? No problem.
Worst bridges and roads? Not part of the problem.
Crushing taxes? Vehemently anti-business, pro-labor political and regulatory environment? They haven’t contributed to our current crisis.
Terrible performance of our public schools, even after adjusting for demographics, and despite the most children in special ed, the highest teachers per pupil, and some of the highest per pupil spending? They don’t matter either.
Legalized prostitution? Culture of corruption? Welcoming environment for illegals? They have no impact.
Read Bill Murphy’s lips: Rhode Island has a PR problem and that is all that is causing the current crisis. And that’s the Governor’s fault, not the General Assembly’s.
Got it?
Like I said, you just can’t make this up…

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

Back in the 1990’s GM hired a CEO who was a former Proctor & Gamble guy. The premise was that GM’s problems could be overcome with “branding” and “marketing” which were P&G’s strengths.
As we taxpayers are on the hook for a $17 billion (so far) bailout of GM / UAW, we all know how that PR emphasis worked out.

bobc
bobc
12 years ago

Lavish salaries and benifits for public employees…..$Millions and Millions
Money needed for road and bridge repair…..$Millions and Millions
Murphy thinks it’s a PR problem………..Priceless

Tim
Tim
12 years ago

Rhode Island is in the mess it’s in because the likes of Bill Murphy, a criminal defense lawyer who HATES his chosen profession by the way, and his ilk are the type who always seem to rise to power and prominence in the Gen Ass.
They are not leaders and their concern is not the state. The concern is what’s in it for them and their cronies.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

“a criminal defense lawyer”
Posted by Tim at December 23, 2008 6:28 AM
HAH! A Freudian slip. Murphy, Paiva-Weed, Williamson, Irons, Harwood, Cicilline.
All indeed are CRIMINAL lawyers.

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