Budget Details Trickling Out
The House Finance Committee is releasing its modifications to Governor Carcieri’s proposed budget. Here’s what we’ve learned (via the ProJo 7to7):
* Raise the gas tax by 2 cents/gallon (earmarked for RIPTA)
* Require out-of-state websites (think Amazon.com) to charge RI consumers Rhode Island’s 7% sales tax when applicable.
* Rejects most of the governor’s tax-cut proposals.
* Eliminates recent capital gains tax breaks.
* Eliminate the general revenue sharing program. (Saves the state $55 million. Now it’s up to the local communities….)
* Eliminate $6.3 million aimed at education system professional development
* Cuts $1.7 million that Governor Carcieri had proposed for charter schools.
* Restores funding for Rhode Island’s Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly program.
* Restores funding for dental services via the RIte Care program .
* Continues to subsidize health care for 28 moderate-income pregnant women slated to lose coverage.
(No indication how much these restorations “cost”).
* Restoration of $1.9 million for “nursing home acuity rates”.
* “attempts to cut $45 million”
* “adopt age 62 as the new “target” age for retirement. In actuality, however, the minimum age for retirement would vary widely depending on how long an employee had worked and how close he or she was to qualifying for retirement.”
$226.5 million in Federal stimulus money is used to help shore things up.
$58 million in savings “through an across-the-board cut for all state departments.”
The state budget released by the House Finance Committee Wednesday represents $7.76 billion in spending. Of that total, $2.98 billion represents state-only spending, known as “general revenue.” The rest largely comes from the federal government.
Overall spending is up 12 percent from the $6.92-billion state budget approved by lawmakers for the current fiscal year. But the general revenue portion is down, roughly 10 percent, from the $3.28 billion originally approved for the current year.