Letter: Infrastructure bills are fair, equitable

To the editor:

Article 20 of the fiscal year 2012 (state) budget will not help the economy nor create jobs.

It would also cause the state to lose anywhere from $15 to $30 million in lost state tax revenue due to lost tourism and lost business.

House Bill 7432 and Senate Bill 2335, the infrastructure bills, do the following:

• They are a statewide solution to a statewide problem. Shows Rhode Island is serious about fixing infrastructure.

• Funding is gradual, equitable and flexible for future adjustments.

• Fair and equitable. They do not place any undue burden on any group. Only 1.65 percent of identified funds are from “new” money.

• Helps the economy without affecting tourism and state tax revenue.

• Would redirect state spending into a sector that would support/create construction jobs over 10 years. That money would be re-spent in the economy.

• Shows the General Assembly is willing to “choose the harder right” and is open to bold and innovative legislation.

• Eliminates redundant spending and saves the state money in the long run.

• Eliminates all R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) debt and the need for R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority bonds.

ˆ Ultimately results in all state bridges and roads being in good condition with no structurally deficient bridges.

• Sets the conditions for RIDOT to have a proactive maintenance plan for all bridges.

Ray Berberick


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