House Finance Committee to discuss federal relief efforts; RI faces $800M deficit

Money

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — ‘Brutal’ and ‘inevitable’ are two words Gov. Gina Raimondo is using to describe budget cuts she says are going to have to be made.

The House Finance Committee will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Rhode Island State House for a briefing on federal relief efforts and revenue for the month of May.

Raimondo says Rhode Island has accrued an $800 million deficit. As of now, the state has avoided furloughing state employees, but she doesn’t know how much longer that will last.

The governor says she has been working to avoid layoffs by using employees to help the state combat the crisis. She adds the state will have to ensure creative, structural changes in an effort to bounce back.

“This budget is going to be brutal. I don’t know where we are going to find $800 million,” Raimondo said. “Everyone is going to be unhappy. Everything is on the table. Everything,” she repeated, driving home the point.

“You can’t fill an $800 million hole.”

So far, Rhode Island has received over $1 billion in federal aid; federal officials have told Raimondo more could be on the way.

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