Rhode Island Expected to Vote on Budget Today

The Rhode Island House is close to voting on an $8.7 billion budget plan that cuts corporate and estate tax, gets rid of the toll on the Sakonnet Bridge (a four-lane bridge spanning the Sakonnet River in eastern Rhode Island), and allocates millions to make the next payment on the 38 Studios bond debt.

The plan is expected to be taken up today. The budget plan contains provisions to lower the state's corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent and raises the estate tax threshold to $1.5 million. It eliminates the Sakonnet toll, but hikes the gas tax and some fees to raise revenue for a statewide transportation infrastructure fund.

The most contentious part of the budget is the $12.3 million that some lawmakers want to allocated to make the next bond payment in connection with the bankruptcy of ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's startup video game company. Some lawmakers are arguing that the state should default on the debt. Given that it is an election year for some of the top spots in the state's government, the situation is being further exacerbated on both sides for brownie points on the campaign trail…

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Source: Daily Journal

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