Reilly: School funding, toll fight among priorities

To the editor:

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of representing my constituents in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and on November 6 I respectfully ask for your vote for re-election. It is a very difficult time to live and work in the Ocean State, and unfortunately the state government and many of our “leaders” are not making things easier. The Governor’s failed sales tax proposal last year and his current proposal to place tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge are two of the more higher-profile issues I have had to deal with as a member of the Newport County delegation. Additionally, the unfair school funding formula desperately needs to be corrected. These are all issues which I have worked diligently to help fix, and on which I hope to keep the fight going.

There is much work that remains to be done, and we cannot expect our economy to ever fully recover, expand, or reinvent itself without making Rhode Island a magnet to invest and do business in. We cannot reasonably expect new jobs in the “knowledge economy” of the future without incentivizing venture capital firms and high-tech employers to move to or start a business in our state. Without question, increased investment and better policies in elementary, secondary, and higher education, with particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math programs in our schools and our community college system, will go a long way towards improving the outlook for our state.

I have been leading the fight against the Sakonnet River Bridge tolls, and have proposed that we dedicate a portion of the revenue earned from vehicle registration and driver’s license fees to maintain the roads and bridges we drive those registered cars on. The lack of common-sense solutions such as these being proposed was a principal reason I ran for public office in the first place – and the need for these solutions is greater now more than ever. I have been proud to co-sponsor successful legislation that was signed into law by the Governor that improved the Access to Public Records Act, and for the past two years introduced and co-sponsored legislation creating a position of an Inspector General to police contracts and spending in state government. I am proud that both of these efforts to improve government transparency have been with Democrats, demonstrating my commitment to never putting partisan politics over good public policy.

Rep. Daniel P. Reilly

Portsmouth

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