Thursday, August 24, 2017
   
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Economy

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I am fundamentally committed to improving the Rhode Island economy for all Rhode Islanders.  We must move toward a more progressive tax structure, reduce our reliance on the property tax, and find ways to grow businesses that are already here rather than focusing on wooing out of state businesses from our neighbors.

I’m proud to announce that I am the Chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  I am endeavoring to use that position to advocate for one of the greatest unmet opportunities for our state  -  moving toward a green economy and the green jobs that come along with it.  Green jobs are well-paid positions that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality.  A green job could be an engineering position that helps build a wind turbine but also includes those that many of use do not think of: the bus drivers whose work can ensure that there are fewer cars are on the road; the workers who install the insulation in our homes; or the electricians and plumbers that install energy efficient products in homes and businesses.  Some of these are entry level jobs but many are jobs for workers that just need additional training.

One way we can move Rhode Island in this direction with limited investment from the state is to focus on an expanded weatherization effort.  Rhode Island homes and businesses are still woefully under-insulated and in many cases otherwise energy inefficient as well.  There are a range of opportunities that our state can take advantage of in this area that can create jobs while saving Rhode Islanders money on their energy bills.

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