PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha didn’t mince words when asked about his working relationship with Gov. Dan McKee.
“I don’t have a relationship with the governor,” Neronha explained in a recent interview on Newsmakers. “We don’t speak.”
Neronha has repeatedly expressed frustration regarding the lack of funding for his office, which he said is understaffed, underfunded and “totally underwater.”
When asked whether he believed his frosty relationship with McKee “is a problem,” Neronha replied: “It’s not a problem for me if I have the resources to do my job.”
Neronha recently requested an additional $2 million for his office, but it was shot down by McKee in his latest budget proposal.
In a statement to 12 News, a spokesperson for McKee explained that the request was denied due to the uncertainty over a possible recession.
“The governor’s approach to the budget was not to support any significant expansionary initiatives in any agency at this time,” the spokesperson said.
Neronha recently met with and asked House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi to request funding for his office, as opposed to requesting it himself.
“If I don’t get those resources, I’m going to have to take action to hand off some of these caseloads down to where we can defend the state adequately,” he said.
While the meeting was “excellent,” a spokesperson for Shekarchi said all decisions will be made in May when lawmakers see the latest revenue projections.
Watch the full interview on this week’s episode of Newsmakers.