PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The full Rhode Island General Assembly will be heading back to the State House this week after the session came to an abrupt halt in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Legislators are set to consider the supplemental budget bill this week and figure out how to fill a roughly $235 million deficit for this fiscal year. The first draft of a supplementary budget will be published Monday afternoon.
The house and senate finance committee will meet Tuesday to discuss revisions and then it is expected to be sent to the full house and senate Wednesday and Thursday night.
Gov. Gina Raimondo spoke on this deficit during her briefing on June 3, calling it unprecedented and adds that if the state has to fill the gap on its own, it would be “devastating.”
“There will undoubtedly be layoff and furloughs, extensively,” the governor said. “We will see cuts to aid to cities in towns, aid to our healthcare system. Massive and wholesale restructuring of the way we deliver government services.”
A full passage of passing this budget is not expected until later in the summer due to the state still waiting to see how much — if any — additional federal funding will be passed. Raimondo says any extra help would lessen the burden.