PROVIDENCE, R.I. (February 2014) -- The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI), Rhode Island Senate and Rhode Island House of Representatives announced the continuation of a partnership that formed last year to jointly maintain a database for tracking business-related legislation.
Legislation that is expected to have considerable influence over the state’s tax structure, regulatory climate, public safety or economic development programing will be monitored and listed in the database, which will be updated bi-weekly to reflect new legislation and posted to RIPEC’s website.
“The collaboration between RIPEC and Commerce RI directly aligns with my Transparency and Accountability Initiative by making legislation more visible to our businesses,” said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. “The database is one of many efforts to show businesses that Rhode Island is proactively working to improve our business climate and make it easier to do business.”
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, “Positioning Rhode Island for long-term economic prosperity will take a cooperative effort among all of us working together to address our unemployment rate and the wellbeing of our residents. It is important to ensure that the potential positive and negative impacts of legislative proposals are fully understood. On behalf of the Senate, I am proud to be a part of this collaborative effort and look forward to working with all of our partners in the future.”
Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox added “The last legislative session proved to be effective as the House took several necessary steps at improving our business climate while creating efficiencies that will benefit new and existing small businesses in our state. I am proud to continue in this collaborative effort in making certain that the public, and especially the business community, is well informed about the impact of business-related legislation. The House is committed to enacting initiatives this session to improve our economic outlook and our business climate. Ensuring that all of these bills are categorized and readily available is consistent with my goal of increasing transparency and public participation in the legislative process.”
Proposed legislation should be evaluated, in part, by the impact it has on the state’s business climate and cost of doing business, and this tracking database will assist in these efforts. This legislative tracking initiative is aimed at assisting the business community and legislators by identifying which proposed policies may affect the cost of doing business in Rhode Island. To this end, the four organizations seek input and suggestions from the business community regarding the inclusion of pieces of legislation that have a significant business climate impact.
“RIPEC commends the Governor, Commerce RI, Senate, and House for committing to make the state’s economic competitiveness a top priority this legislative session,” said John Simmons, RIPEC Executive Director. “If the state is to improve its competitive position there must be a thorough examination of how the state fares on economic competitiveness and business climate policies, and tracking pertinent legislation is an important step in this endeavor.”
“The collaboration between Commerce RI, RIPEC, the Governor’s office and the General Assembly highlights the importance of helping the business community by providing quality service through access to timely and useful information,” said Marcel A. Valois, Executive Director of Commerce RI. “We want to ensure that businesses are aware of what legislation is impacting them and how, and this database will be an important one-stop resource for issues that affect Rhode Island’s business climate.”