business Recap of Governor Raimondo’s 2017 Budget Proposal February 05, 2016 RI’s governor Gina Raimondo has proposed a $9 billion budget to address the state’s education, workforce, and health needs. Governor Gina Raimondo released a nearly $9 billion budget proposal on Tuesday, February 2nd. Highlights of her budget include: an increased state investment in both education and workforce preparation, and new initiatives to bolster the state’s economy. State Investment in Education Gov. Raimondo has proposed a number of improvements to education, namely: $80 million appropriation for construction and renovation, including $9.1 million for the school building authority, $40 million general obligation bond to renovate and modernize school facilities with a focus on health and safety and investing in STEM learning spaces, Funding free PSATs and SATs for public high school students, Making college more affordable by freezing college tuition with record investments at URI, RIC and CCRI and continuing need-based Rhode Island’s Promise scholarships, Expanding P-TECH so more students can earn associate degrees in competitive fields, and Investing in workforce development initiatives, like Real Jobs RI and TechHire, to train Rhode Islanders for well-paying 21st century jobs. Workforce preparation Gov. Raimondo is seeking to improve RI’s workforce, by: Expanding R&D tax credit by $5 million, Fostering innovation in our economy by leveraging higher education to create jobs, Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and Expanding Wavemaker Fellowship student loan repayments and offering down payment assistance on homes for recent graduates through the Ocean State Grad Grant. Health & Wellness To address health needs in the state, Gov. Raimondo is proposing to: Fight the overdose epidemic by investing in treatment, recovery centers and training, and Increase funding to support senior services like Meals on Wheels and ensure that every community has a senior center Gov. Raimondo hopes to achieve success by strengthening RI’s economy and advancing its industries. She feels that only this will place RI at a level playing field with the rest of the country. Stay tuned for updates on how these proposals move forward. Questions? Contact us.