Gina Raimondo in 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Education: PrepareRI Dual Enrollment: free tuition for high schoolers

When I was my kids' age, most jobs in Rhode Island required nothing more than a high school degree. But, for my kids and yours, that's not the case anymore. The reality is that most jobs being created now in Rhode Island will require some degree or certificate beyond a high school diploma.

I set a goal to ensure that by 2025, at least 70% of Rhode Island adults have some degree or credential beyond high school. To achieve that goal, we've taken strides to make college more accessible and more affordable. We now offer the PSAT and SAT, free of charge, in every public high school. We provide student loan relief for recent graduates who live and work in RI.

PrepareRI Dual Enrollment: Last year, nearly 4,000 students were able to take college courses for free. These students earn college credits while they're still in high school, and some are able to get a full semester of college under their belt before they graduate high school. The budget I will propose expands funding for this program.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Education: All-day kindergarten for all; computers in every school

Our schools are getting stronger. To set all of our students out on the right path, we've made important investments in their success. We came together two years ago to guarantee that every child is able to attend all-day kindergarten. And we've made new investments to triple the number of public Pre-K classes.

By the end of this year, Rhode Island is going to be the first state to offer computer science classes in every public school around the state.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Families & Children: Pass modern, common-sense paid sick leave laws

Let's make sure people have a fair shot by allowing them a day off if they're sick or their kid's sick. It's time to give every Rhode Islander an opportunity to earn paid leave if they're sick or if they need to care for a sick child or parent.

Our neighbors across most of New England and in states across the country--states run by Democrats and Republicans--have passed or introduced modern, common-sense paid sick leave laws. Let's do the same thing here in Rhode Island.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Jobs: Give everyone chance for dignified work at a decent wage

We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that every Rhode Islander has a chance for dignified work at a decent wage. When I was a kid, most people earned a high school diploma and went right to work. There was a pretty simple deal back then: Finish high school. Work hard. And get a decent job to support your family. You could buy a house, take a modest vacation--maybe to one of our beaches in South County or on Block Island.

There was dignity in work. There was pride in what you built and what you made. For too many though, that deal is now out of reach. So let's invest in our middle class. Let's put that deal back on the table here in Rhode Island.

In 2015 we raised the minimum wage. Last year, I stood with many of you to try raise it again. And we fell short. The budget I'll submit will once again raise the minimum wage. This time to $10.50 an hour. No one working full time should live in poverty.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Social Security: Get most state retirees a cost of living increase

In recent years, we restructured the pension system. We cut $100 million in our health care costs, without cutting eligibility or reducing benefits. Because of that hard work, we are in a position to give back to our working people.

For the first time in five years, most state retirees will get a cost of living increase. We've also expanded the earned income tax credit each of the last two years. We reduced the income tax seniors pay on their social security income.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Tax Reform: Reduced the corporate minimum tax

Our economy is stronger. We've cut our unemployment rate by more than half since it reached a peak of over 11 percent in 2009. Employers across our state--many of them small, locally-owned businesses--have created thousands of jobs since I stood before you at this time last year. After years of marching uphill toward recovery, we have finally regained all the private sector jobs that were lost in the recession.

Our business climate is stronger. Last year, we cut our unemployment insurance tax for the first time since 1992, saving employers $30 million. We eliminated the sales tax on energy and reduced the corporate minimum tax. And it's all paying off. Because of the hard choices we've made together and the strategic investments we've protected, businesses are finally taking a fresh look at Rhode Island.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Tax Reform: Cut car tax by at least 30%

Let's give every Rhode Islander the car tax relief that they deserve. The budget I'll send you on Thursday will cut every Rhode Islander's car tax by at least 30 percent, putting more than $50 million back in your pockets.

As we come together to begin this work, let's commit ourselves to reform that's fair, fiscally responsible, sustainable in the long run and provides relief for every Rhode Islander.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

On Technology: RhodeWorks: fix highways ad 12n0 bridges

We passed the most comprehensive infrastructure program in recent history. It's no secret, that our roads and bridges are some of the worst in the country. But now, because of RhodeWorks, we're fixing our highways. By the end of this year, we'll have started or completed repairs on nearly 120 bridges: a visible sign that we are rebuilding Rhode Island together. And in the process, we're putting thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in good jobs that don't require a college degree.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Rhode Island Legislature Jan 17, 2017

The above quotations are from 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2017 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Gina Raimondo.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Feb 24, 2017