Rhode Island Politics and Government

By Maureen Moakley; Elmer Cornwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Budget Politics and Policy

If he [the governor] wants authorization for specific [spending] reasons, he should come to the legislature; the legislature will either give him that authorization or give him an explanation as to why not.

Antonio J. Pires, Chair, House Finance Committee, 1996

Follow the money.

Political strategist, 1998

We'll reconvene the House tomorrow for our veto-override party. House Majority Leader George Caroulo, during the 1996 budget negotiations

Exploring the politics of taxing and spending provides a perspective from which one can assess the enduring as well as emerging priorities and policy choices that face state leaders as Rhode Island moves into the twenty-first century. 1 A strong tradition of support for programs that protect the interests of poor and working-class constituencies continues to be evident in policy debates. Emerging priorities, however, reflect a need to hold the line on taxes, invest in programs linked to expanding the economy, and achieve higher levels of efficiency and accountability in state and local government.

Viewing the process through the lens of the annual machinations over the budget gives additional insight into the institutional and political rivalries that have developed over the past decade. It also brings into focus the institutional, political, and economic forces that set the parameters of the debate, allowing one to evaluate the role of the key players who ultimately determine fiscal policy in the Ocean State.

The state constitution charges the governor to “prepare and present to the general assembly an annual, consolidated operating and capital improvement

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Rhode Island Politics and Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Preface xi
  • Authors' Preface xiii
  • Rhode Island Politics and Government *
  • Chapter One - Rhode Island in Transition 1
  • Chapter Two - Political Culture in the Ocean State 19
  • Chapter Three - Rhode Island and the Federal System 36
  • Chapter Four - The Constitution 50
  • Chapter Five - The General Assembly 65
  • Chapter Six - The Executive and the Administration 84
  • Chapter Seven - The Courts 108
  • Chapter Eight - Political Parties 125
  • Chapter Nine - Interest and Group Representation 144
  • Chapter Ten - Budget Politics and Policy 163
  • Chapter Eleven - The Politics of Education 178
  • Chapter Twelve - Local Government 196
  • Epilogue 213
  • General Resources 219
  • Notes 225
  • Index 241
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