Yesterday's GPCC Legislative Forum covered the budget deficit, education reform, increasing the minimum wage, proposed tax increases, legalizing marijuana and more.
Echoing the business community's concerns, House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi warned: "People are going to be voting with their feet more and more ... We are fighting against Florida's weather as it is, and they don't have an income tax."
If the legislature moves in that direction anyway, Filippi — who leads the 10-member Republican bloc within the 75-member House — said lawmakers should at least reinstate itemized deductions that were eliminated as a tradeoff for reduced rates a decade ago.
But Filippi — whose family is in the hotel-restaurant-bar business on Block Island — said Rhode Island needs to appeal to people's "desires,'' which he defined as quality-of-life issues, as well as their wallets.
"People like to go out. Why are our bars shut? We have a lower (COVID) transmission rate now than the last time the bars were open,'' he said.
The Providence Journal
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