General Assembly wraps up 2016 session

WPRO on Jun 19, 2016

General Assembly wraps up 2016 session

Lawmakers left intact most of the bond questions proposed by the governor, with some reductions in amounts to be borrowed based on the identification of other sources of funds, and some additions. The bill would place five bond referendums on the November ballot: $70 million for rebuilding port infrastructure, including $50 million for piers at Quonset Point and $20 million for an expansion to ProvPort; $45.5 million for higher education projects; up to $50 million for affordable housing (with $10 million to go toward blight remediation), $35 million for environmental and health initiatives and $27 million for the state Veterans’ Home.

The higher education bond includes $20 million to help develop an “innovation center” connected with the University of Rhode Island to encourage innovation and job creation by connecting the state’s businesses, medical facilities and universities so they can collaborate on new ventures.