June 22, 2008

2008 GA Tally Sheet

Marc Comtois

The ProJo provides a helpful list of what passed and what didn't in the General Assembly this session.


$6.9 billion state budget

24-hour gambling weekends and holidays

Automatic destruction of certain criminal records

Repeal mandatory minimum drug sentences

Early prison release

Pre-voter registration by teens

Renewable energy bonus to National Grid

Close teen-drinking loophole

Raise age threshold for two-year elderly license renewals

Providence hotel tax break


Minimum wage increase

E-Verify immigration status checks

Mandatory health insurance

Movie studio tax-credit

Landmark hospital merger plan

$12.6 million Ritchie Bros. sales tax-rebate

Legislator health co-shares

Cell phone driving ban

Eliminate straight-party voting

Foreclosure protections for renters

Increasing pollution fines

Voter identification

Medical marijuana dispensaries

A lot of the items, whether passed or not, met their fate based on the budget crunch. And a few elicit an unsurprised, yet exasperated, shake of the head: failure to eliminate straight-party voting, failure to implement voter identification, failure to have legislators kick-in for health insurance, no E-verify and even the pre-voter registration idea. As Justin has observed (warned?), while we can take solace in holding the line, how much of this victory will be fleeting? So don't get too content out there. We've got to keep our eye on 'em, especially after November.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Criminals seem to have quite a lobby on Smith Hill!

Posted by: mikeinRI at June 22, 2008 12:09 PM

Well, looking at Operation: Dollar Bill, I'd say the one demographic in this state most likely to turn to a life of crime IS the General Assembly.

They're just covering their own asses.

Posted by: Greg at June 22, 2008 12:12 PM

Looks like the criminals, and especially the illegals, made out pretty good this year by the good ol GA! How nice for them! I'm sure Rep Almeida is happy his record is gone.

Posted by: Donna C at June 22, 2008 12:47 PM


Posted by: EMT at June 22, 2008 3:05 PM

The rich got their way.
The Catholic Church got its way.
Carcieri got his way.
This budget season was about keeping powers, and all those with power hung onto it.

Posted by: rhody at June 22, 2008 5:21 PM

EMT - why do you have to resort to anonymously calling members of the GA "bums"? Don't you have any respect?

Rhody - who is the "rich" and how did they get their way?

Posted by: George Elbow at June 22, 2008 5:32 PM

Don't fear for the 'poor' Rhody. They'll just move to another, more generous state and lamprey onto THEIR taxpayers.

It's a natural process for parasites.

Posted by: Greg at June 22, 2008 5:33 PM

Rhody, thanks to an appropriate adjustment in our income tax table, the "rich" now get treated the same (no better!) than states around us. That becomes one less negative factor for their moving to or staying in Rhode Island. Why is that a bad thing?

Posted by: Monique at June 22, 2008 8:07 PM

I'm sorry, did somebody say something?

Posted by: EMT at June 22, 2008 8:57 PM

The rich kept their tax break and did not have to share in the budget pain everyone else did. Why the denial?

Posted by: rhody at June 23, 2008 2:57 PM

How will you share in the budget pain rhody?

Posted by: mikeinRI at June 23, 2008 3:30 PM


Let's try again. WHO is the "rich"?

And in terms of their "tax break", please tell us how much the "rich" are paying in taxes versus the "non-rich".

Looking forward to your answers.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 23, 2008 7:04 PM

Mike, George...are you insisting I must endure more of the state's budget pain than you because I dare question budget decisions that you accept on faith?
But if you want an example, I'll give you one: My household will be getting hit harder for in-state college tuition this fall while the bang for our buck decreases.
I won't even get into driving a car with almost 148,000 miles on it...if that same tax break the rich got was extended to the rest of us peasants, I could think about a younger used car.

Posted by: rhody at June 24, 2008 1:52 AM

"if that same tax break the rich got was extended to the rest of us peasants, I could think about a younger used car."

If the G.A. had more money, what makes you think they would direct it there? In fact, the indications are otherwise. The chips were down this session. As has been pointed out, what was the only budget area that was increased significantly? The judiciary to build an unnecessary courthouse in northern Rhode Island.

[I reserve the right to talk about "pain bearing" at a later time.]

Posted by: Monique at June 24, 2008 7:58 AM

I certainly agree about this new courthouse - debt (and much of it is our own fault through bonds we approved on the ballot)is a big reason we're in this fix.
In the meantime, our infrastructure continues to crumble - I'd much rather see that $88 million go toward fixing or replacing the Pawtucket and Sakonnet River bridges.

Posted by: rhody at June 24, 2008 11:05 AM

rhody, you implied that you had to endure more than others.

The rich kept their tax break and did not have to share in the budget pain everyone else did.
Increased tuitions at state schools will apply to everyone, not just you. Yes, the rich will have to pay the increased cost of school for their kids as well. And those with more valuable cars pay more local property taxes.

Obviously anything that requires more from you (or me) may hurt. Are you suggesting that the state should take as much as is needed to make the "rich" feel equal pain?

Posted by: mikeinRI at June 24, 2008 11:52 AM

While everyone bashes each other over how the state spends its' dwindling tax revenue, I have a stupid question.

What have we done to bring new business to RI and expand the tax base?

Posted by: Anthony at June 24, 2008 2:34 PM


We are still waiting for your definition of "rich" and exactly how they got a break.

Then you can tell us why you yourself just don't become "rich" if it soooo easy to do and there are soooo many benefits to being "rich".

By the way, a fella out in Omaha Nebraska by the name of Warren Buffet who many refer to as being rich drove the same old car for years and years and years. Also, I've NEVER purchased a care with LESS than 60,000 miles on it.

So, I am not sure what your point is with respect to owning a car with 148,000 miles on it. It sounds to me like you are being wise with your money and therefore on your way to being "rich".

Lastly, last time I checked, the "rich" have to pay for in-state tuition just like you do. But they probably don't get financial aid.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 24, 2008 8:50 PM

The rest of us pessants should've gotten the same tax break the rich did. George and Mike, I apologize if my plea for tax equality offends your tender sensibilities.
I'm still waiting for the people who got that tax break to bring new business to Rhode Island and expand the tax base. However, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: rhody at June 25, 2008 12:33 AM

rhody, I take it from your sarcastic response you have no intention of defining "tax equality". How about this? Would you favor a flat tax to ensure everyone pays the same percentage of what he or she earns? That's equal, right?

Posted by: mikeinRI at June 25, 2008 1:51 PM


Once again,we are STILL waiting for your definition of "rich".

While you're at it, tell us how much the "rich" pay in taxes and compare that to what the "non-rich" pay ...be specific.

And then explain the "tax break" that the "rich" recieved.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 25, 2008 6:59 PM

Boys, if all you do is ask the same questions over and over, you obviously have no interest in discussing this - no answer can satisfy you. I think the rest of the party has tuned out on this tiresome thread (and so will I).

Posted by: rhody at June 26, 2008 11:27 AM

Answer the question of how you define "rich" and how specifically they got a break, and we'll be happy to stop asking the question.

If you make nutty assertions, you should at least be willing to explain / back them up with something more than cliches and broad brush comments.

Once again, we look forward to your answers, as opposed to more dodging with Bob Walsh-like non-answers.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 27, 2008 10:38 PM
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