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President all right state governments are in trouble we know that some are even -- going belly up -- California and Illinois.
At least one -- -- has found a way to successfully navigate this recession Rhode Island finish their fiscal year it would be seventeen point seven million dollar budget surplus.
Surplus this after beginning the year with a 62 million dollar.
Deficit and we are doing now for a Fox Business exclusive I think governor of Rhode Island.
-- her cheery Don welcome great to see you good work with a surplus there but I do wanna begin with unemployment because that's -- problem in Rhode Island right.
Your -- -- a couple of points above the national average at eleven point 8% so can -- use this surplus to bring -- more -- to the state.
-- I think that's the whole key actually -- I think you know the point is here.
What we've been trying to do is what every household -- businesses had to do for the last couple years hasn't been a tough -- downturn you know that.
And everybody's been impacted so every household every business Sino -- cut you know cutting their spending.
Becoming more efficient so what's so they expect the government to do the same thing.
I and so that's what we've been embarked job for the last couple years is reducing the spending reforming our pension plans getting out.
By higher Kosher is -- our employees on health care.
Concessions from a number roasted employs all state employees agreed to pay cuts that last year and this year -- I -- a whole series of things to try and bring and bring our costs down.
And along the way reduce our taxes go the end of the day.
You know the last thing we should be doing is adding a burden so our assistants all these things are important because they set the framework really.
For economic growth.
Rhode Island when I came in office for years has not been competitive from a tax standpoint.
And so what I've been trying to do is bring those taxes down.
Why so that business will stay here and grow businesses won't come here because it's an economic growth.
And the jobs that are created that are really the solution for not only our state frankly for the country right now.
Governor one -- I want to pick up on is your seemingly productive.
Relationship with the largest state workers you haven't been able to manage that you just mentioned you had this agreement with the state workers.
Lower wages in return for no layoffs.
Yeah wasn't easy anyway hit it up.
They've they've bought that led to a number of the union signed -- but the largest one didn't.
And they were -- -- the court on some things and I said well if you go down that path I've got no choice.
The state has the balance its budget live within -- -- -- so my only other option was that massive layoffs of state workers which I didn't really want a -- But that would've been the alternative I think when we sat with the unions and look -- the different alternatives they concluded.
Thankfully that the best thing to do was no small concessions say I try to make the point if everybody gives up a little bit right now at the time that we're going through.
Then we'll come out of this we'll come out of it stronger.
Governor how much have -- federal stimulus money helped you in terms of getting this surplus and look at the full make next year in the following year.
Yeah I -- no question it's helped editing help all of the states.
In the in the budget that we're in right now fiscal eleven -- 240 million dollars of federal money and that's what I keep saying to our legislature.
All the other leaders that the surplus was great last year were actually running a small surplus already this year which is good -- I hope -- sustain that.
But the and we got a rainy day fund it fully funded don't need all of that don't offset.
Really the loss of that federal money next year you know it's going to be devastating on states across the country.
And when that's gone.
And clearly Rhode Island enacted some austerity measures I'm sure you can watch in the headlines out of Europe right with these massive protests.
How you got to translate wider scale across the US have hit a decent drastic spending cuts.
Well I think it'll be and you know unfortunate I think what what what right now the tension is between the public sector union unions of new level leadership of the unions.
And the taxpayers.
And attacks bears are all hurting -- had hours cut back their incomes have been cut back and so -- it's reasonable to expect the public sector.
That they're paying for -- notably being being giving some concessions to help us out.
And so I think the -- make a big mistake.
If if they don't sit down the table and trying to work with all states and all cities and towns to get through this next couple years and -- -- -- -- quickly.
This problem isn't going away and my judgment soon.
So the unions and to be a part of the solution.
Because I think they're gonna suffer frankly long term if they've seen just the big.
You know greedy and that's when they know everybody out here is hurting governor.
It's going to lawsuit journal today that McDonald's possibly dropping some of its health care coverage really talking about that on the show here in a little bit what -- these senior state in -- that your constituents.
The fear about this with a new health care rules and how much is going to affect companies doing business in your state.
Well I think I think it's huge amount of uncertainty.
Every every -- -- -- something new comes out of people rethink and the rules and regulations have been probably did it.
So I think right now the economy doesn't need that kind of uncertainty -- health care costs going up.
What's going to happen attacks is gonna go up the pay for that all of those things a legitimate concerns on the part of businesses.
And I think frankly that's what's holding a lot of businesses back from making decisions to invest.
The hire people and -- so it's unfortunate.
I I was one of the big hazards of the president spending so much time concentrating on this because -- the end of the day.
None of this has done anything to.
How would that advance the biggest issue -- health care when you talk to businesses and home homeowners individuals.
It's the cost of health care it's the inflation rate of health care cost.
That's the biggest issue facing businesses and and consumers today and nothing in this bill really -- anything to attack that you know.
OK well thank you so much for your time governor.
Dot heritage area of the state of Rhode Island covered a lot of --
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