Speaker, Senate president meet again on RI budget impasse

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — A spokesman for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he met briefly in his office with Senate President Dominick Ruggerio on the 25th day of an impasse over the state’s $9.2 billion budget.

Spokesman Larry Berman says the meeting was brief and the two Democratic leaders “expect to meet again in the near future.”

Rhode Island has been operating without a budget since July 1, after a disagreement between the House and Senate over the details of a car tax cut that was Mattiello’s top priority.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gov. Gina Raimondo said she wanted the budget to pass this week because schools and local communities are supposed to receive increased aid next week.

“My top priority for them right now is to pass a budget. I don’t want them to get through this week without a budget,” Raimondo said.

The 25-day stalemate is causing uncertainty in local governments and school districts as state government operates at last year’s spending levels.