Legislative leaders to meet to consider emergency borrowing for coronavirus response
STATE HOUSE – House and Senate leaders will meet Thursday to consider a proposal by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo to borrow emergency funding for the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
State law (R.I.G.L. 30-15-10) establishes the Disaster Emergency Funding Board, a body comprised of the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate and the chairpersons of the House and Senate Finance committees to approve funds for emergency response. The governor declared a state of emergency in Rhode Island on March 9.
In a letter sent yesterday, Governor Raimondo asked that the board meet and approve the borrowing of $300 million from the federal government or other sources to fund the coronavirus response. Under the state law establishing the board, the state can borrow such emergency funding with a repayment period of up to two years.
The board is scheduled to meet Thursday, March 26, at 11:30 a.m. in the State Room on the second floor of the State House. The governor is scheduled to speak and her staff will present the proposal to the board. Due to restrictions on more than 10 people in a room to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there will be no access to the State Room, but public comments are welcome and can be emailed to email@example.com. The meeting will be televised live on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1013, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers. It will also be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV.
The board includes House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston), Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence), House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).
For more information, contact:
Larry Berman, Communications Director for the Office of the Speaker
State House Room 331A
Providence, RI 02903