Ruggerio Re-elected President of the Senate
STATE HOUSE, Providence – Senator Dominick J. Ruggerio was re-elected to the office of President of the Senate during Opening Day ceremonies in the Rhode Island Senate today. He was first elected to the position in March 2017, and began his first full term in the Chamber’s top post today. He previously served as Senate Majority Leader.
Addressing his colleagues following the vote, the Senate President reflected upon the progress the state has made in recent years, and challenges that require attention in 2019.
He said, “Among the major initiatives we have enacted are paid family leave and paid sick leave to protect workers; probation and prison reform, so our prisons aren’t filled with individuals better served by treatment; landmark legislation to address the opioid crisis; national-model renewable energy laws; effective worker training programs; and tax reform and business regulation reform that positions our state to compete.”
He continued, “Working together, we have removed more than 2,700 pages of outdated regulations from the books. We reformed the income tax, reduced the corporate tax rate and the minimum corporate tax, reduced unemployment taxes, and eliminated the tax on energy. We exempted most Social Security taxes and a portion of the retirement income from taxation and modified the estate tax, and we’re phasing out the car tax. As a result of these efforts, there are more jobs in our state today than at any point in our history, and unemployment hasn’t been this low since 1989. Existing companies are growing here, and new companies are investing here. There is much to be excited about.
“But we will need to continue to work together if the progress is going to continue. Serious challenges remain, in areas such as education; our continued economic growth; wage disparities; health care; and caring for vulnerable Rhode Islanders. Working together, this Senate will lead the way to meeting these challenges.”
President Ruggerio called for collaboration among the members to move past differences and continue to make progress for the state.
“We all have differences in ideology and perspective … and that’s a good thing. The exchange of our different ideas is the point of this great deliberative body,” he said.
“It is by working together with each other – by reaching across the table to collaborate on the issues – that we will make our state an even greater place to live and work. We will get nothing accomplished if we all retreat to separate ideological corners and refuse to listen to each other’s perspectives. Rigid inflexibility is a path to gridlock. I am extremely proud that this Senate has always been able to disagree without being disagreeable. The partisan stalemates that seem to define Washington have not been present here. We have always worked through our differences – and we have accomplished so much.”
The inaugural Oath of Office was administered to all 38 senators by Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, and the Oath for the Office of President of the Senate was administered to President Ruggerio by Superior Court Justice Joseph A. Montalbano.
President Ruggerio is a Democrat who represents Senate District 4, comprised of portions of North Providence and Providence. He is the “Dean,” or most senior member, of the Senate. He lives in North Providence and is the father of two grown children and grandfather to three granddaughters.
Also today, the Senate re-elected Senator Harold M. Metts as President Pro Tempore and Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley as Deputy President Pro Tempore.
For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Press Secretary for the Senate
State House Room 314
Providence, RI 02903