Message from the President of RIPEC - the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council

Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council

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Message From the President

Rhode Island's economic and fiscal situation - high unemployment, falling revenues and a severely diminished housing market - has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the State's ability to support government functions. This, coupled with the reduction of federal support will bring into sharp focus the projected out-year budget deficits and the need to systematically address the structural imbalance in Rhode Island. Without addressing the structural budget deficit, the State's ability to successfully compete for jobs and create long-term economic growth opportunities for its citizens will be significantly impaired.

This is the time for change in our State, and, with the newly elected leadership, we have an opportunity to chart a new course. The RIPEC Board of Directors believes that it is time for Rhode Island to take the necessary steps towards fundamental and transformative, yet compassionate and affordable change in the funding, provision and delivery of State and local services.

The necessary fundamental changes cannot be achieved through the historic process of one-year remedies, nor can they be achieved through a single entity acting alone. These problems must be solved through thoughtful reforms that will require considerable political will, courage and determination to implement. All levels and branches of government must work in concert; expecting one to solve the problems of the other will not remedy the problems we face as a State. Rhode Islanders must work together to build a solid financial foundation upon which our ability to make key investments for the future will depend. Making these changes will require new tools and an informed public to help decision-makers develop solutions and weigh their relative costs and benefits.

RIPEC, and the people and organizations we represent, stand ready to help with a true reform effort. Since 1932, RIPEC has been the only non-profit organization that monitors State and local expenditures and revenues thanks to the generous support of businesses and institutions. Whether through behind-the-scenes work with public officials, or well-publicized reports and media commentary, RIPEC continues to influence the public agenda for fiscal responsibility and effective government in Rhode Island.

Given the choices we as a State currently face, this is the time when RIPEC is most valuable to Rhode Island's citizens. With your ongoing support I am confident that RIPEC will continue to serve the needs of its members and the residents of this State, and will remain an important part of the decision-making fabric of the Ocean State.

As always, and on behalf of the entire Board, I thank you for your invaluable investment in RIPEC.

Robert A. DiMuccio