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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and it’s possible that I’ve eaten Popeyes for dinner three times this week. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Is there anything more exciting than budget day in Rhode Island? (Don’t answer that.)
Governor Gina Raimondo is set to unveil her proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and there are still lots of questions about how she’ll pay for proposals to increase affordable housing, expand pre-kindergarten programming and move the state toward becoming 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2030 all while attempting to close a $200 million shortfall.
Remember, today is just the beginning of the marathon. The budget that Raimondo puts forth today will likely look a lot different than the one House leaders release in June.
“I’m doing math in my head while people are clapping, and the math got scary,” House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello quipped when discussing the State of the State address during last night’s Rhode Map Live event hosted by the Globe.
Here’s what we’re hoping to learn today:
- We know the governor will proposal legalizing marijuana, but Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio say that proposal is dead on arrival. Depending on how much money is earmarked for pot, that will be another hole that state leaders have to close.
- The governor is calling for a permanent stream of revenue for affordable housing that would be similar to other New England states. But it’s also an election year and any new tax is bound to cause some lawmakers to panic.
- The current minimum wage is $10.50 an hour. How high is the governor seeking to increase it? (Remember, Massachusetts now has a $12.75 minimum wage.)
- Bonds on bonds on bonds. We know there will be plenty of proposals to ask voters to approve new borrowing. How much is the governor seeking and what will the money pay for?
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio talked budget, guns, climate change, the future of the “Superman” building and a whole lot more at Rhode Map Live last night. Ed Fitzpatrick has the full story here.
- Thank you to everyone who came out last night for a fun conversation with the two legislative leaders. Yes, there were tote bags. If you’d like your very own Rhode Map bag, send an email to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
- My colleague Matt Stout reports Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo doesn’t believe there’s a lot of support for a regional pact designed to curb carbon emissions while likely raising gas prices. This is the proposal Governor Raimondo has embraced, but Mattiello and Ruggerio seem to oppose.
- Smart piece here from the Globe’s David Scharfenberg: With the 10th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling coming next week, has that decision really been as disastrous as some suggest?
- Good stuff from the competition: WPRI-TV reports a state agency is now being audited after placing a friend of Speaker Mattiello on leave.
WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- Reporters will be briefed on all things state budget today and we’ll have the full story later tonight.
- Need something fun to do tonight? Providence Monthly’s “Who to Watch” party is at Skyline.
- The Rhode Island Historical Society is hosting “Relics, Rebels & Rum: A Rhode Island History.” Sounds like it will be filled with great stories and conversations.
- The Providence Public Library plans to name its auditorium after former Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish.
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