Watch in full: Gov. McKee’s State of the State tackle


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee’s first full time period in workplace kicked into excessive gear Tuesday night time as he delivered his annual State of the State tackle.

Watch the total speech above, and comply with together with the beneath transcript offered by McKee’s workplace.

“Mister Speaker, Mister President, distinguished members of the Meeting, members of our Congressional Delegation, Common Officers, Chief Justice and members of the Judiciary, municipal leaders, members of my cupboard and Rhode Islanders watching at dwelling — good night.

“Simply two weeks in the past, I had the distinction of being sworn in for my first full time period as Governor. Governor of a state I really like.

“Throughout my inaugural tackle, I informed a narrative a couple of household trying to transfer to a brand new neighborhood – one which was variety and caring identical to the neighborhood they have been coming from. That story confirmed us a easy reality: You typically get what you search for.

“After that story, I mentioned that almost all of Rhode Islanders need to search for the very best of their state and of their fellow Rhode Islanders.

“That fictional story was informed by Corridor of Fame basketball coach, John Wood, somebody I’ve admired since I used to be rising up with my brothers and sisters in Cumberland. Coach Wood’s story jogged my memory of one other story from October 2021 – when a flight landed at our airport with a few of the first Afghan refugee households arriving in Rhode Island.

“Eagerly ready on the airport was Jonathan — a Rhode Islander who works at Windfall Faculty.

“Jonathan had spent years speaking with a person named Amir, an Afghan translator for the U.S. army, however that they had by no means met in individual. Due to Jonathan’s assist, Amir and his spouse and youngsters have been capable of flee Afghanistan. They’re now right here in Rhode Island and a part of our neighborhood.

“To Jonathan and Amir – who’re each with us right here tonight – on behalf of the State of Rhode Island, I need to thanks for being an instance of the very best of our state.

“I additionally used my inaugural tackle to spotlight that it’s Rhode Island’s time, our second, our flip.

“That’s why, as I stand right here tonight – I’m proud to say that

“RHODE ISLAND IS READY.

“We’re prepared to boost incomes for households throughout our state.

“We’re prepared to enhance schooling outcomes for our college students.

“We’re able to construct a more healthy Rhode Island.

“And we’re prepared to make sure that everybody advantages from this work.

“With $1.2 billion in federal funding flowing into initiatives throughout our state – we’ve a chance proper now like we’ve by no means had earlier than.

“Over the previous 2 years, we’ve laid a powerful basis by not solely making short-term investments in our state’s households, small companies, and workforce – however we’ve additionally put into place methods and investments to make sure Rhode Island’s long-term financial success.

“As I look out at this viewers tonight, I’m extra optimistic than ever about Rhode
Island’s future. And I hope you are feeling the identical means too.

“I can say this with confidence due to what we’ve already achieved collectively, as one workforce.

“We achieved the bottom unemployment price in our state’s historical past, and our financial
restoration was ranked the very best in New England.

“Rhode Island has momentum — I by no means get bored with saying that.

“However what I’m most enthusiastic about – much more than the progress we’ve made – is the potential that’s nonetheless on the market for us to achieve. 

“To get Rhode Island prepared to achieve our potential, we centered on aligning our state behind a imaginative and prescient for the way we might emerge from the pandemic and what we need to turn into within the years forward.

“And to get us began, our Administration did what we pledged to do from day one: we introduced folks collectively.

“We engaged in conversations with residents, municipal leaders, members of the Common Meeting, nonprofits, and neighborhood teams to create Rhode Island 2030 – our state’s grasp plan.

“That is your plan, an interactive working doc, and I encourage you to go to RI2030.com to check out our targets for the problems that matter most to Rhode Island households — housing, schooling, well being, local weather change, jobs, and far more.

“These suggestions helped information our finances final 12 months and the way we invested our $1.2 billion in American Rescue Plan funds.

“Every time I speak about this federal funding, I’ve to take a second to thank our Congressional Delegation. Rhode Island is so lucky to have Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressmen Cicilline and Magaziner. And I additionally need to acknowledge former Congressman Jim Langevin for his service.

“We’re utilizing these once-in-a-lifetime funds to construct housing, stabilize the childcare workforce, help small companies, create capability for the offshore wind trade, and practice Rhode Islanders to achieve good-paying jobs.

“And these {dollars} are already being put to work.

“The finances that this Common Meeting handed was actually historic – however passing that finances was simply one of many many successes we had within the final session. I need to once more thank the Speaker and Senate President for his or her unimaginable partnership throughout my first two years in workplace.

“We labored collectively to move and signal laws to deal with local weather change and put Rhode Island on a path to one hundred pc renewable vitality by 2033.

“We labored collectively to move and signal frequent sense gun security laws. Our work on this space shouldn’t be finished – let’s comply with the lead of different states and ship a invoice to my desk that bans the sale of assault fashion weapons. I’m able to signal that invoice into legislation.

“Collectively, we made it a precedence to Cowl All Children in Medicaid and lengthen protection for brand spanking new mothers.

“And let’s not neglect – with one of many largest surpluses within the historical past of our state — we offered over $120 million {dollars} in tax reduction to Rhode Islanders. That’s along with the $100 million of reduction on vitality payments our Administration offered to Rhode Islanders.

“As a part of that reduction 110,000 youngster tax rebate checks went out to oldsters like Marisa and her husband who’re right here with their youngsters tonight. I need to acknowledge Marisa for advocating for this reduction. Marisa, thanks!

“As a part of our tax reduction plan final 12 months, Rhode Islanders now not must be burdened by a automotive tax invoice of their mailboxes as a result of, collectively, we eradicated it.

“Our seniors acquired a further $4 million in property tax reduction.

“Rhode Island Veterans, like Dora Vasquez-Hellner and her husband Dave who’re right here tonight, now not must pay the state tax on their army service pensions – as a result of we ended that tax for good.  Dora and Dave – thanks each on your service and for being right here to symbolize Rhode Island’s Veteran neighborhood.

“Whereas this tax reduction was historic – we all know that Rhode Islanders are nonetheless coping with rising costs on the grocery retailer, on utility payments, and on the fuel pump. Fuel costs are falling however not quick sufficient.

“And we all know households have needed to make troublesome monetary selections as a result of their greenback isn’t stretching so far as it used to. 

“That’s why, the finances I’ll undergo the Common Meeting will suggest a broad tax reduction plan to assist Rhode Islanders navigate inflationary pressures and make our state a extra aggressive place to do enterprise.

“Right here’s what that plan will appear to be:

“FIRST: Let’s cut back Rhode Island’s gross sales tax.

“Proper now, Rhode Island is tied for the second highest state gross sales tax within the nation. We’re prepared to alter that.

“Rhode Island’s gross sales tax was elevated in the course of the banking disaster with the promise that it could be diminished after we have been again on stable monetary floor. That promise was by no means stored.

“Now’s the time to make it proper.

“We’re going to suggest a fiscally-responsible, incremental discount of the gross sales tax. Let’s begin by lowering our gross sales tax to six.85 % — roughly $35 million {dollars} a 12 months of lengthy overdue reduction – and if we proceed to have self-discipline in our budgets and get to the identical price as Massachusetts – we might save Rhode Islanders $173 million yearly.

“Second: Let’s cease the scheduled fuel tax enhance.

“Rhode Island legislation requires us to implement a 3 cent enhance on the fuel tax beginning July 1. The finances I’ll suggest will cease this enhance and supply almost $25 million of fuel tax reduction to Rhode Islanders over the following 2 years. 

“Third: Let’s give Rhode Islanders a tax rebate for the gross receipts tax on their vitality payments this winter. This can lead to over $35 million in reduction for Rhode Island households and companies.

“Fourth: Do you know that companies throughout our state are required to pay a so-called litter tax? Right here’s the kicker – the charges collected from this tax don’t even go in the direction of cleansing up litter, AND paying this tax is an enormous nuisance for small companies. We have to enhance our small enterprise local weather by taking away charges like this.

“Let’s not solely get rid of this tax, however let’s additionally fund an initiative to deal with the litter on our streets, seashores and leisure areas.

“Rather than the litter tax, we’re going to create a devoted line merchandise within the finances to Hold Rhody Litter Free – this can be a precedence for our First Girl, Susan McKee, and I encourage Rhode Islanders to affix our effort to eliminate litter by visiting LitterFree.RI.Gov and take the pledge!

“Our finances will even suggest lowering the dreaded company minimal tax which impacts our state’s smallest companies essentially the most. I do know we’ve some small companies house owners within the gallery right here tonight – I need to thanks and all of our small companies for the way you stepped up in the course of the pandemic and continued to advocate strongly for the small enterprise neighborhood.

“As a former mayor, I understand how necessary fiscal duty is. That’s why, along with having no broad-based tax will increase, my finances will concentrate on sustaining a pattern of fiscal duty.

“We are going to suggest growing the state’s rainy-day fund in addition to setting apart cash for future obligations to cut back our reliance on debt.

“Potholes are an issue and everyone knows that they exist. That’s why I’m placing on my former municipal chief hat and proposing that we launch a brand new matching grant program to assist our cities and cities restore native roads whereas we proceed to do the work to restore state roads throughout Rhode Island, identical to we did on route 295 which I drive on on daily basis.

“Right here’s the underside line: The finances I’ll put ahead this week will proceed offering financial reduction for Rhode Island households, spend money on Rhode Island’s future, and proceed making progress towards our Rhode Island 2030 targets.

“Housing is likely one of the most important points going through Rhode Island right this moment and over the following decade.

“That’s why our Administration proposed a once-in-a-generation, quarter billion greenback
funding in creating and supporting extra housing in any respect revenue ranges. And I need to
thank the Common Meeting for appearing on that proposal final 12 months.

“Since that historic funding was handed – our Administration has labored to place that cash into motion.

“Proper now, we’ve over $90 million in funding from the historic $250 million obtainable for builders.

“And 39 initiatives have already been funded which can be anticipated to create or protect over 1,000 models of inexpensive housing.

“As well as – the Common Meeting created a standalone Division of Housing that went into impact on January 1 of this 12 months.

“I’m dedicated to constructing a succesful Division of Housing that’s as much as the problem and alternative that this second represents. My finances will create a strong state company, with further funding to assist our unsheltered inhabitants and set them on a pathway to housing.

“However one individual, one division, and even one complete Administration can’t tackle this downside alone.

“Our Common Meeting has a task to play.

“Our cities and cities have a task to play.

“Builders have a task to play.

“Nonprofits and foundations have a task to play.

“Our establishments of upper studying have a task to play.

“Labor has a task to play.

“Our enterprise neighborhood has a task to play.

“We should all come collectively and work as one workforce if we’re severe about addressing this downside.

“Our financial future relies on creating room for inhabitants development and upon offering cost-accessible properties to our workforce.

“We have to maintain our youngsters right here in Rhode Island – not worth them out of our state. And we have to make properties inexpensive to households of each revenue stage – together with households who’re particularly value burdened.

“Let’s work collectively to set and, over time, obtain significant however practical targets for housing manufacturing and affordability. I do know we will do it – and we are going to.

“I don’t consider there may be one neighborhood in our state that doesn’t need to see this occur.

“Now, there’s an outdated story that I need to share a couple of painter who units out to color the right dawn.

“He wakes up early, packs up his pickup truck along with his canvas, his easel, and his paint brushes and heads to the seashore to attend for the dawn. When it lastly occurs, he thinks to himself – this dawn is gorgeous – however perhaps tomorrow might be higher.

“So, he packs up his issues and goes again dwelling. The following day, he wakes up early and goes again to the seashore to attend for the dawn. Because the solar is rising, he once more thinks to himself — perhaps tomorrow’s dawn might be even higher than right this moment.

“In relation to fixing Rhode Island’s schooling system – we will’t be like that painter. As an alternative of ready for what we predict is likely to be higher day sooner or later – we should keep the course, double down on our efforts, and deal with the challenges going through Rhode Island’s schooling system right this moment.

“Rhode Island — we’re able to put the paintbrush to the canvas — and we’ll give a brush to anybody who needs to do the work with us. However when it comes time for change in schooling – we’ve waited lengthy sufficient.

“This schooling motion should occur in all 39 cities and cities and Commissioner Infante-Inexperienced is able to work with every neighborhood to boost pupil achievement.

“When the State manages college districts it isn’t a nonchalant train. To achieve success it have to be intentional, it have to be supported by state and native leaders. It have to be supported by our academics and union management, and it have to be supported by dad and mom and the neighborhood. Most significantly – it isn’t endlessly.

“The state has intervened in two native college districts. One for too lengthy and one for not lengthy sufficient to get the job finished.

“I need to acknowledge Windfall Superintendent Dr. Javier Montanez who’s already grabbing his paintbrush and doing the work to ship outcomes for Windfall college students. Javier, I do know you’re watching tonight at dwelling, thanks for stepping up.

“Again in 2019, the Hopkins Report delivered to gentle many points within the Windfall Public College system, together with the situation of the buildings which have been described with phrases like “dire situation.”

“Round that very same time, there have been $900 million price of constructing wants for Windfall Public Faculties – with solely $160 million obtainable to repair this downside.

“I’ve personally had my toes on the bottom in each single Windfall Public College and I’ve seen firsthand that the buildings are in a greater situation – we’re now not speaking about all the identical bodily areas that have been described within the Hopkins Report. That is excellent news – and the work continues.

“In Windfall there are already 8 new or like new building initiatives in progress with further new faculties within the early planning levels. And I’m proud to say that quickly, Windfall may have 50% of its college students in new amenities – a tenfold enhance from 2017. That is progress and we’re going to remain the course.

“And this isn’t simply occurring in Windfall. Statewide, 22 main new college initiatives are at the moment underneath design or building. I need to thank the management on the native stage – our college committees and metropolis and city councils – for serving to us make this occur.

“Our college students deserve this progress, and we’re utilizing the $300 million that was authorised final 12 months by the voters and supplemented in our finances to ship for them.

“We all know that the pandemic had a dramatic impression on our youngsters’s schooling. And whereas we’re glad that our children bought again into the classroom as rapidly and as safely as attainable – we all know that there are years of restoration forward.

“For the final three years, the state finances has held communities innocent for pupil enrollment adjustments in the course of the pandemic.

“Because the pandemic, general public-school enrollment has declined by about 5,700 college students. 

“If we as a state resolve to revert to the common college funding components, this might lead to a lack of roughly $30 million {dollars} to conventional public faculties.

“It’s time for us to make a focused modification to the funding components to enhance outcomes and help college students with larger wants.

“The finances that I’ll ship to the Common Meeting will make investments a further $57 million in Okay-12 schooling and one other $4 million for out-of-school studying packages.

“We are going to absolutely fund our multilingual learners and high-cost particular schooling to handle the wants of those college students.

“And inside the first 100 days of my full time period, we might be outlining a plan to achieve Massachusetts schooling ranges by 2030. And as all the time, to attain this, we are going to work with anybody who’s prepared to do the work each in and out of doors the classroom.

“Some economists say that our economic system could wrestle within the coming months and years. That will or might not be true – however both means, Rhode Island might be prepared.

“You’ve heard me say it earlier than – one of the best ways to reduce the impression of an financial downturn is to spend money on J-O-B-S, good-paying JOBS.

“That’s why we’re making key investments in Pawtucket, in Windfall, in Galilee – throughout the state.

“We need to construct on our momentum and do all the pieces we will to make Rhode Island stronger economically.

“To that finish, our administration has ready essentially the most important capital finances within the historical past of the State.

“The finances surplus and financial stimulus funding from the federal authorities has put us ready to make a record-setting funding in Rhode Island and within the folks of Rhode Island.

“Along with financial improvement initiatives occurring throughout the state by private and non-private partnerships — over the following a number of years, we will even have 137 state infrastructure initiatives totaling almost $2 billion shifting ahead.

“However having these funds budgeted shouldn’t be sufficient and it’s not sufficient to only have plenty of good concepts within the pipeline — we have to get these initiatives accomplished faster. Accordingly, I’ve directed my employees to implement an accelerated undertaking supply technique that may interact the non-public sector extra comprehensively. This can lead to job creation, operationalizing improved amenities, and a stronger economic system.

“We’re making quick investments to shore up the long-term financial success of our state. For instance, this previous 12 months we broke floor on a brand new state well being lab and life science facility in Windfall’s Innovation District – thanks once more to our Congressional Delegation for securing that funding.

“We’ve all the time talked about Rhode Island being a hub of bioscience exercise and over the previous few years we’ve laid the muse for this rising sector. It’s time to double down and make a serious funding in Rhode Island’s life science sector. My finances will replicate this funding and I look ahead to working with the Speaker on this key precedence that we each share.

“So Rhode Island – it’s our time.

“We’ve momentum and if we sustain the super willpower we displayed in the course of the pandemic — we might be able to embrace the numerous alternative forward.

“We’ve the instruments.

“And with all of us working collectively – we’ve the workforce to achieve success.

“Let’s go write our state’s subsequent chapter.

“Rhode Island is prepared.

“Thanks.”



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