General Assembly OKs legislation to protect furloughed federal, state employees during shutdowns
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today passed legislation introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) and Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket) that would provide financial protections to Rhode Islanders who have gone unpaid as a result of government shutdowns.
The bill (2019-S 0065aa, 2019-H 5191Aaa) would enable city and town councils to grant relief from penalties on the payment of taxes on real estate and personal property during periods where federal or state government cease governmental operations, in whole or in part, for employees of the state or federal government.
“Fortunately, there are many people in our communities who want to help government employees who lose their income because of government shutdowns,” said Senator Conley, who serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “This bill would allow cities and towns around the state to do just that, in whatever way works best for them, whether that’s a grace period, waiving penalties or something else. Our communities have reached out to us asking what they can do, and this will give them the flexibility to help in the way that they determine suits their needs.”
Representative Tobon said, “Government shutdowns are an unfortunate reality, as we witnessed earlier this year when the federal government shut down for an unprecedented 35 days. Air traffic controllers, Coast Guard workers, FBI agents, National Park staffers all had to work without pay or be furloughed. That’s a long time to go without any kind of income. I’m glad we can give our communities the option of helping out their taxpayers if it happens again.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903