Five key questions ahead of today’s state budget reveal. What’s wrong with Warwick? The abortion rights bill gets a vote.
If you have friends or colleagues who would like to receive a copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.
Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Biggest Little. I’m Dan McGowan and now I’m regretting staying up to watch the Bruins last night. Send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
After months of committee hearings and behind-the-scenes negotiating, it’s budget day at the State House.
The House Finance Committee is expected to roll out a revised $9.9 billion plan sometime after 7 p.m., although the panel has already set a meeting for Friday night just in case something changes.
So what should you be watching for tonight? Here’s an overview.
Will Governor Raimondo get any of her education proposals?
She wants to expand the free college program to Rhode Island College and begin implementing universal pre-K, but House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has not endorsed either idea. Can a last-minute compromise be reached?
What’s next for economic incentives?
The folks at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation are crossing their fingers that a plan to expand the Rebuild RI tax credit for construction projects will make the cut, but it’s unclear if they’ll get the extra $100 million they are asking for.
What’s the deal on pot?
Raimondo wants to legalize marijuana, but it looks like that may have to wait. Lawmakers appear more supportive of a plan to add three new medical marijuana dispensaries this year.
Will cities and towns be spared?
Raimondo’s proposed budget trims funding from the payments-in-lieu-of-taxes program, which caused cash-strapped communities like Providence to panic. It appears that money will be restored, but municipalities are unlikely to get anything more than last year.
Will there be any other big changes?
We already know the speaker’s version of the car tax phase-out will be included in the budget. But it appears the Medicaid tax on larger employers doesn’t have a lot of support. And urban school districts are hopeful they’ll see more money for English learners.
Check back tomorrow for a full recap.
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.
• Warwick has always been viewed as one of the more stable communities in Rhode Island, but the third-largest city has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. The Globe’s Ed Fitzpatrick has a deep dive on the city’s financial crunch.
• The 38 Studios saga may finally be over – at least from the court’s perspective. A federal judge has dismissed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit accusing a Wells Fargo employee of misleading investors when preparing a bond offering.
• That was a brutal loss for the Bruins at home in Game 7 last night. The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy says Boston had “more speed and skill than hard-hitting St. Louis but ultimately succumbed to the smash-mouth Blues.”
• This could be a big blow for CVS Health. A federal judge is raising questions about the company’s proposed merger with Aetna.
• Brown University alum Lindsay Gottlieb is the first women’s college basketball coach to be hired as an assistant in the NBA. She’s joining the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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.
• While the House Finance Committee takes up the state budget, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee has scheduled a vote on the abortion rights bill tonight. It is widely expected to win approval and move to the full Senate next week.
• The House Oversight Committee will dig into a scathing report from the state that blames the Department of Children, Youth and Families for the death earlier this year of a 9-year-old girl with special needs.
• Happening this morning: Providence City Council leaders are holding a press conference to try to explain their controversial property tax plan. The goal is to create a tiered homestead exemption that would force residents with homes valued at more than $350,000 to pay more in taxes.
• The 39th Festival of Historic Houses begins tonight with tours of homes on Providence’s East Side. It’s free and runs today, Saturday, and Sunday. You can learn more here.
• Enjoying Rhode Map so far? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.
Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.