Governor Lincoln D. Chafee traveled to Pawtucket City Hall this evening to urge city council members to pass a resolution in support of his municipal reform and relief legislative package. The council is expected to vote on the measure at its next meeting. Eleven Rhode Island city and town councils have already passed supportive resolutions. The Governor has attended municipal council meetings in communities throughout the state, encouraging local officials to urge their legislators to support this critical legislation and protect the property taxpayer.
Governor Chafee had the following statement:
"I am grateful to the council members in communities across the state who have voted to support my municipal reform and relief legislative package, and to the mayors who have advocated on behalf of this critical legislation.
Municipalities are now facing at least a $2.3 billion unfunded pension liability.
Many Rhode Island cities and towns need bold, immediate action to address their fiscal challenges and would benefit from my legislative package.
The councils that have passed these resolutions are part of a strong, growing coalition of municipal leaders throughout the state who understand that the collapse of one community has consequences for all Rhode Island communities. They do not want to see property taxes continue to increase or have other cities go through the painful experiences of Central Falls.
Passing this municipal reform and relief legislation should therefore be a priority for every city and town in Rhode Island. I will continue to travel to town halls and city council chambers throughout the state urging municipal officials to encourage their legislators to support these bills."
The following cities and towns have already expressed full support for the package: Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Jamestown, Johnston, Portsmouth, South Kingstown, Warren, West Warwick, and Westerly.
A number of additional communities have votes scheduled.
Governor Chafee has also launched a website,
www.governor.ri.gov/stoptheclock, where Rhode Islanders can send an electronic letter to their legislators and municipal council urging them to support the Governor's reform and relief package.