A Chamber Conversation with RI House Speaker-elect Joe Shekarchi
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Chamber President Laurie White hosted a conversation earlier today with Rhode Island House Speaker-elect Joe Shekarchi about the state's budget and the overall outlook for the upcoming legislative session scheduled to begin in January.
The two also delved into considerations about personal income taxes for the state's highest earners.
"Everything is on the table. I want to hear from people. I want to look at all the facts and hear from stakeholders," said Shekarchi. "There is only so many ways you can cut a pie. You have city and town aid, you have education aid...so when you keep cutting the pie, you either have to grow the pie, if you want to do these things, or you have to start doing cuts, and there is not a lot of appetite among the membership here for cuts in social services."
Additional topics included:
Possible reorganization of House committees
Childcare and education
RI Promise free college tuition program
The business climate
House sessions to take place at Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Federal COVID aid/CARES Act funds
The need for business advocacy at the State House
Ways to modernize some of the traditional House rules, including remote and proxy voting