Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, District 15, Cranston) held a legislative 2020 Budget briefing yesterday in the State House Lounge. The media were invited to attend. Mattiello, flanked on the right by Finance Committee Chair Marvin Abney (Democrat, District 73, Newport) and on the left by Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi (Democrat, District 23, Warwick), did almost all the speaking at the briefing.

The message from Mattiello is that the budget is necessarily tight this year, and cuts and compromises needed to be made.

Two things Speaker Mattiello did not address was the $1 million going to Dr Victor Pedro for untested medical practices and the pass-through entity provision that will largely benefit the very richest Rhode Islanders, according to both the United States Treasury Department and the Tax Policy Center.

The video below has been divided by topic, starting with a brief introduction by Speaker Mattiello about the size and scope of the budget:

Universal Pre-K:

Rhode Island Promise:


Commerce Incentives:

Cuts to municipalities restored:

Supermax prison construction:

Scoops restored:

Car tax phase out continues:


911 funding:

“No appetite… for legalizing marijuana…”

Tampon tax eliminated:

Most tax increases not enacted:

New licenses plates, related to truck tolls:

University of Rhode Island governance change in the budget:

Fane Tower giveaway:

Opioid tax:

Minimum wage denied:

Efficiency savings:

Digital downloads tax:

Beach fees frozen:

Nonviolence Institute loses grant:

Question from the Associated Press:

Question from the Associated Press:

Department of Veterans Affairs increase denied:

Providence Journal question on the opioid tax, closing comments:

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