RI lawmakers expected to debate $13.1 billion state budget


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Last week, Rhode Island lawmakers unveiled a $13.1 billion proposed state budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The House Finance Committee approved the budget and it is now slated for debate in the full house Thursday afternoon. Some key issues in the spotlight include more funding for social services, education, and housing.

The towns of Lincoln and Tiverton would each collect $200,000 a year from the new state budget and the reason has to do with sports betting.

Both towns are home to Bally’s run casinos — Twin River in Lincoln and the Tiverton Casino Hotel — and are paid a fee of $100,000 a year for allowing sports betting, something Rhode Island launched back in 2018.

The budget proposed by lawmakers last week would double that fee, bringing more state money to the towns.

The proposal is about $2 billion bigger than Gov. Dan McKee’s $11.2 billion budget plan, with most of the difference made up of federal pandemic stimulus funds, and about $180 million of the increase funded by state general revenue.

The budget being debated also includes:

  • Taxing PPP loans over $250
  • Funding for housing development and education
  • Appropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars for municipalities from the American Rescue Plan
  • A continued phase-out of the municipal car tax

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