Governor Chafee, DOT make right call – NO Transportation Bond Ballot Item in 2012

By Marc Comtois | August 6, 2012 |

It’s about time, via the ProJo: For the first time in memory, the state won’t be asking voters’ permission this year to borrow tens of millions of dollars for the state’s transportation system – and running up borrowing costs each time. The change will save many millions in interest, with the savings to increase until…

Against Borrowing in Providence or Anywhere

By Justin Katz | July 28, 2012 |

In his Saturday column, Ted Nesi makes a point that I’d been thinking about as the week came to a close, related to a proposed $40 million infrastructure bond in Providence: Governments should borrow to fund long-term infrastructure projects that have a higher rate of return than the interest on the bonds, but [in Providence’s…

A Decade of Moving Next Door

By Justin Katz | July 17, 2012 |

I’ve been following taxpayer migration data for years, but in a haphazard way. A new study that I’ve coauthored for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity finally gave me the opportunity to review all fifteen years of available data from the IRS. The picture — from the 2003 beginning of what can only be…

Watch Out, Trash Haulers And Central Landfill! Regulation Enforcement Straight Ahead!

By Monique Chartier | December 10, 2011 |

Johnston’s Mayor Polisena has gone ballistic over the serious odor which now regularly emanates from the state landfill. (It was noticeable even this morning on Route 95 – yes, 95 – just south of Exit 14 in a moving vehicle with all windows rolled up.) And who can blame him. Sure, he’s gonna sue. But…

And Here’s the Storm

By Justin Katz | August 28, 2011 |

So here we are, still hours away from the brunt of the storm, and we’ve already lost power. National Grid’s line is busy. Good thing I have a print subscription to the Proto… and a fully charged smart phone to keep me connected. If only I had a smart, chargeable fridge.

A Sign That Our Government Has Become Distracted

By Justin Katz | April 14, 2010 |

Take every pothole that you hit and bridge that you tremble to cross as a reminder of how misplaced the priorities of the state and federal governments have become: In the supplemental budget Governor Carcieri sent to the legislature, he proposed reducing the DOT budget by $74.3 million. The House Finance Committee recommended cutting slightly…

RISC’s Open Eye Catches More Economy-Killing Taxes

By Justin Katz | March 30, 2010 |

The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition has been making a concerted effort to peruse all of the legislation making its way through the General Assembly and recently unearthed this gem from Senator Charles Levesque (D., Bristol, Portsmouth), creating a Highway Maintenance and Public Transit Trust Fund, financed as follows: … There is imposed a surcharge of…

Ray “Fastlane” LaHood Wants to Build Up the Slow Lane

By Monique Chartier | March 28, 2010 |

On his ironically titled blog, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced … a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road…

A Negative Approach to Governance

By Justin Katz | February 19, 2010 |

And around and around not-my-town goes: Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), whose district encompasses neighborhoods on both sides of the Sakonnet River Bridge, has introduced legislation that will prohibit tolls from being charged on the bridge. … Instead, Rep. Edwards proposes placing a toll on Interstate Hwy 95 (I-95) in Westerly and…

Rhody Highway Dollars: Little (Too Much?) Bang for the Buck

By Monique Chartier | February 18, 2010 |

As a function of compiling a snapshot of the condition of the state so as to enlighten the House Senior Deputy Majority Leader, I went looking for an update on the highway situation. This analysis popped up, a state ranking by the Reason Foundation of highway conditions, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They looked at state highway…