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So we were talking about this Rhode Island planning on shutting down at state government for twelve days as part of its strategy to mop up billions of dollars in -- But many state workers say they don't want to bear the brunt of the budget gap -- who does nobody does but joining -- out of explained his decision first on Fox Business.
Rhode Island governor Donald Kerr cheery welcome governor thank you for joining us on Fox Business I'm happy to -- you're making me hungry this -- -- about an hour.
I put it junior -- and others have an advantage of the there were making me I'm very.
I -- soliciting your your state workers are hungry for some news here as as the rest of the nation because as Rhode Island -- so possibly could go the nation.
You didn't raise taxes you ruled out laying off more state workers was this your last option to shut down the government for twelve days.
These are tough times you know that let's listening to your report Liz.
Every -- stealing it we went into this downturn and we really had a real estate bubble big bubble and when it burst we really felt that.
But what's happening now you see it it from your commentators.
You know people -- war in there -- about their jobs they're worried about paying their bills of this tightening down there spending that's what you're seeing I think in some of the reactions in the market.
Businesses are doing the same thing I think they expect their government to be doing the same thing.
Now if they're having to tighten up and figure out how to get by on less.
They expect their government leaders -- their governments have been doing the same thing.
So this is different cults and and we've done we met a lot of progress here in Rhode Island over the last year and a half we reduce the State's workforce with a number reforms and pension and retiree health care done a number of things.
-- -- you know this is difficult but what -- try to do is is say listen we if we can't work out something with the unions that would be unpaid days.
One of the authorities I have -- -- shut down state government we -- -- big days that are not going to be busy days or on holidays.
And you know and wind up you know having everybody in the -- if you will sharing in the -- You're at September 4 will be the first day that it starts you know I like to point out people's background here you worried former businessmen here you -- cooks in America.
You're a free market here I'm sure you had to figure something out but what's next this close is what as I understand it it'll save about 22 million.
But you've got a lot more than that that you have to mop up what's next governor do you eventually have to raise taxes once again in a state where the corporate tax rate is already very high.
Yet know what -- when I gonna do that I'm adamantly opposed to that has one of the things I keep saying let's listen and are still going is more taxpayers not what Texas.
And we've got to grow the economic base you're right I came out of the private sector that was my whole career.
Somehow and states and I think it's happening -- -- the federal level we forget.
That what creates the world's for the nation and -- states is is businesses private enterprise.
That selling something somewhere else bring in the money back in hiring people investing in the community.
And the same things to an -- -- my refrain is we cannot raise taxes in fact we've got the lower them.
We did -- of the income tax the flat tax option down next year to six we help we kept that in place.
And we've been driving those tax burdens down and out.
And I use what we have to do so that businesses that are here will stay here and grow.
And we'll be seen as a place that's more business friendly and frankly it has been for a long time because that I think our tax -- been out of alignment but.
In order to do that you gotta control your spending.
And that's what what I'm trying to do right now and and the taxes that bring those down slowly.
And has the shutdown goes about 81% of the workforce will stay home on those twelve days of course that that does not include safety people like prisons and police officers and things like that correct.
That's right you've you've got public safety issues that the corrections -- go prisoners -- -- -- of these staff.
The state police we run a state hospital.
That has to -- staff 911 there emergency services like that -- so those will be covered.
But every place else will not be open for business on those days.
Governor can you come back because I want to see how this goes and how it progresses we would love to have you come and talk to us about that.
I am happy until a -- -- -- I enjoy it man -- you know this is the issue -- focusing on that and by the way it's around the nation I -- to my fellow governors.
All have the same problem now.
I don't see this economy turning quickly our revenue rose in May and June -- below expectation.
Well good luck to governor cart -- Rhode Island we will have you back we appreciate it -- -- it will be right back right here --
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