General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed at the State House Thursday Morning. Photo by Steve Klamkin, WPRO News.
By Steve Klamkin and Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
“The potholes are out of control,” General Treasurer Gina Raimondo told WPRO Thursday.
Raimondo joined House Speaker Gordon Fox to unveil a new legislative plan Thursday morning at the State House that aims to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure. Under the proposal, The Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund would be administered by the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency, an agency established by the general assembly in 1989 to “administer certain federal and state programs relating to municipal or community wastewater and drinking water financial assistance.”
Raimondo said she believes it will take $60 million to fully fund the program, which is geared at improving the local economy and creating jobs.
“You can’t build an economy with crumbling roads and bridges,” she said, calling the proposal “real action, you might even say ‘concrete’ action.”
Though Raimondo has estimates for the project’s cost, Fox told WPRO he doesn’t know where money to fund the proposal would come from. Still, he’s pushing to get it off the ground.
"The state will have to provide seed money," said Fox, who said they have made a commitment to funding it, but do not know "to what degree."
“How do we deal with economic issues and make this state better going forward? An infrastructure is critically important to any recipe for economic success,” he said.
The legislation will be formally introduced in the coming weeks.