Blake A. Filippi is leader of the Rhode Island House Minority Caucus. Michael W. Chippendale is whip of the caucus.
Gov. Gina Raimondo is right to push for full in-person learning. Remote-learning largely does not provide an adequate education or the crucial social interaction our children need.
Blake A. Filippi, House Republican Leader; Michael W. Chippendale, House Republican Whip
If government cannot care for the most vulnerable children, it has little business doing much else. That’s why we were genuinely relieved to learn of the sudden addition of 23 child welfare staff to Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) last week. It was a long overdue step to help protect children — a move we fought for with amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
Rhode Island is stuck and it is becoming harder to retain our resident tax base, let alone maintain and grow programs and services in our stagnant economy. It is time for the .5% sales tax cut that was promised by our legislators in 2011 to be enacted. A ruling last year by the Supreme Court in South Dakota v Wayfair allowing states to impose internet taxes, and the broadening of the line item in the Rhode Island sales tax to include Internet, remote seller and other products and services, has effectively triggered the retrofit as intended in the original legislation. I have submitted House Bill 5854, along with my colleagues Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi and Representative Sherry Roberts, to clarify the language intended in the legislation and spur this much needed relief in our FY20 budget.
Chief of Staff