A water drop and ripples

While it can wait, the collapsed road in Portsmouth requires investigation.

By Justin Katz | September 2, 2021 |

John DePetro suggests that the collapsed road in Portsmouth due to flooding looks like the result of an earthquake.  Maybe it ought to cause a political earthquake. It looks to me like it follows a storm drain, which puts it in the ballpark of failed infrastructure.  This ought to be investigated to understand what happened…

Glowing lights on the Sakonnet River Bridge

The infrastructure bill creates a net zero jobs.

By Justin Katz | August 12, 2021 |

Brad Polumbo reports for the Foundation for Economic Education: The promised long-term economic benefits from the sweeping $1 trillion expenditure will likely never materialize, according to a new Ivy League analysis. This runs directly against the president’s promises that it would create jobs and stimulate the economy. Indeed, Biden has insisted that the government spending…

A GPS map

Even pilot programs for a mileage tax are too much.

By Justin Katz | August 4, 2021 |

The Democrats’ infrastructure bill in the U.S. Senate would shove the camel’s nose into the tent. Mark Tapscott reports for The Epoch Times: Buried in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” in the U.S. Senate is approval for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to test a new federal tax on every mile driven by individual Americans.…

Map of best and worst run U.S. cities

Where Providence is run poorly is where it matters (and Warwick, too).

By Justin Katz | June 25, 2021 |

On first look, Rhode Islanders might not be inclined to despair that our capital city ranks 89 among 150 cities reviewed for on the WalletHub list of “2021’s Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America.”  Our state has been run so poorly for so long that being (roughly) middle-of-the-pack on a list is something of a…

A streetlight

The state is finally going to start paying for streetlights on its own roads.

By Justin Katz | June 17, 2021 |

One long-time wish list item from Rhode Island cities and towns has been for the state to start taking ownership of the fixtures that illuminate roads the state owns, and it is now doing so.  Of course, with new lighting technology, the savings to municipalities won’t be huge by local-budget standards (averaging a little more…

Tax Foundation infrastructure user fees map

The problem with user fees (for RI) is that direct and comprehensible spending thwarts grift.

By Justin Katz | April 26, 2021 |

How about a fun, wonky post?  The featured image that you see is a Tax Foundation map ranking states by the percentage of their infrastructure spending that is funded by user fees.  In the Tax Foundation’s views, higher user fees are preferable: Both the federal government and the states raise revenue for infrastructure spending through…

Legislation Under the Radar – Mo’ Money for the General Fund

By Justin Katz | January 16, 2013 |

I’m going through all legislation as it’s introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly, and the Center for Freedom & Prosperity will be putting out a real-time Freedom Index — essentially a watch list — in a couple of weeks. That’ll have the collection of good and bad within the think tank’s scope. Card check?…

Tiverton Toll Meeting Shows Rhode Islanders Have to Stop Fighting Fire with Paper

By Justin Katz | September 28, 2012 |

Last night, I attended the first organizational meeting for the Tiverton branch of Sakonnet Toll Oppostion Platform (STOP), a cross-community effort to stop the state of Rhode Island from placing a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  If I was skeptical about the ability of residents to prevent the tolls before, I’m pretty well convinced that…

Legislative Votes For and Against Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge

By Justin Katz | August 10, 2012 |

Rhode Islanders, mainly from the East Bay, have organized a protest at Clements Market in Portsmouth, this afternoon, against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The hope is that the language that the General Assembly passed into law, this session, as Article 20 of the budget bill (7323Aaa) can be reversed. That article and the…

State Agrees They Can’t Borrow Forever

By Patrick Laverty | August 6, 2012 |

Every two years, I’ve had this thought that the referenda on the ballot needs an “other side.” At least someone to explain what it means to the voters from the other point of view. Every time there’s a question about roads or bridges or buildings at URI or open space, every one of those questions…