Senate committee kills Burrillville tax treaty bill

A rendering of Invenergy's proposed power plant in Burrillville. (credit: Invenergy)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Senate Judiciary Committee has killed a bill that would require a tax agreement negotiated between the Burrillville Town Council and developers of a proposed power plant to be subject to voter approval.

The full House of Representatives had already approved the bill.

Burrillville Rep. Cale Keable, who introduced the bill to the House, released a statement that read: “I am profoundly disappointed the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down my legislation which would give Burrillville self-determination and the right to vote on a tax treaty for a proposed gas-fracked power plant.”

The statement went on to say: “The Burrillville Town Council and the town manager continue to ignore the will of the people and play games with our town’s future. My legislation would have given Burrillville residents the opportunity to openly review and democratically decide whether or not to accept a power plant tax treaty. Instead the tax treaty will be negotiated and approved by a Republican Town Council who has already demonstrated that they don’t care about what the people think. This is a sad, sad day for democracy.”

Sen. Paul Fogarty also expressed disappointment in the rejection, placing the blame on the Town Council and Gov. Raimondo.

Fogarty said, “the last-minute opposition of the Town Council to my bill last week, even as they have refused to take any position on the power plant itself, was the equivalent of getting two torpedoes to the bow. And the governor’s recent announcement, after the council’s opposition to my bill, that she would veto any bill that passed finished off any chance the bill had for passage this year.”

The Burrillville Town Council has held several meetings over this power plant proposal so far, with an overwhelming number of residents speaking out against the plan.

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