RI House speaker, Senate president talk meeting about budget stalemate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he wants to meet Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to discuss the state budget impasse.

Ruggerio’s office says he is open to a meeting.

Mattiello tells WPRO-AM that he plans to call his Senate counterpart on Monday to set up a meeting. He says he intends to look Ruggerio in the eye and ask him “what he’s up to?”

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Ruggerio’s spokesman says “the Senate president will take the call and he is amenable to a meeting with the speaker.”

The two Democratic leaders have been feuding over who bears responsibility for the 2-week-old standoff over the state’s $9.2 billion budget. The stalemate is causing uncertainty in local governments and school districts as state government operates at last year’s spending levels.

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