WPRI Poll: State should keep Providence out of bankruptcy

By Tim White and Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – More than two-thirds of Rhode Islanders want the state to help Providence avoid going bankrupt, according to an exclusive WPRI 12 poll released Tuesday evening.

The new survey of 511 registered voters finds 71% think the state should do what’s necessary to prevent the capital city from filing for bankruptcy, while 19% think the capital should be allowed to reduce its debts by filing as Central Falls has, with 10% unsure.

“I was kind of surprised 71% said ‘save the city’ – that’s overwhelming,” WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming said. “Obviously, the residents of Rhode Island want to avoid the capital city going into bankruptcy. That would really put a black eye on Rhode Island.”

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10 thoughts on “WPRI Poll: State should keep Providence out of bankruptcy

  1. The bulk of RI residents live in: Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, West Warwick, Central Falls, East Providence.

    A poll that asks for relief based on state taxpayers to cure a municipal problem would be favorable to:
    Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, West Warwick, Central Falls, East Providence.

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    • I probably phrased that wrong Gary.

      Let’s try this: Run another poll to just the areas that will actually be paying for this.

      If those residents can’t afford the taxes to bail their own cities out then the money will come from the suburbs.

      Part of the problem is that Tavares made this huge grandstand about union concessions and in reality there were none from the most expensive sector – the teachers. Teacher sick time costs Providence nearly $10 million a year and GoLocalProv studied the numbers. 37% of teachers are out 19 or more days out of 180 4 1/2 hour work days and 11.5% are out 37 or more days.


      Before the State bails them out they should eliminate homestead exemptions and raise taxes to the maximum, then layoff any surplus personnel. Flanders will do all of that before he tries Chapter 9.

      • Jim, I agree wholeheartedly, the public schools teachers compensation is the biggest expense, (waste of money) for the taxpayers. The public schools are nothing but warehouses for kids. I would love to see the school budgets renamed to education budgets and then have a set amount of money allocated to each child and allow the parents to choose the schools for their kids. Time to break the feather bedding of the public school teacher unions.

  2. What the problem is, that the people of Rhode Island are enabling the same old behavior. This is crazy. Let Providence take chapter 9 and go bankrupt, break these outrageous contracts with the public sector unions and give all the taxpayers a break. Cut spending first then cut taxes.

  3. I love how all of you conservatives (and yes I will generalize)suffer from such tunnel vision. All you do is yap yap yap about cuts. Yes, the public sector workers have a very generous contract, of which most were negotiated when most were prospering without thought going into a downturn. Live with it. A lot of people mad bad calls. Bankers, and many other thousands of others stole much more out of your pocket then these workers.
    Instead the cut to the bone mentality, how about we focus on innovation and increased revenue streams that don’t affect the tax payers wallet? Why have no of our State Representatives met with Hasbro and CVS to offer incentives for manufacturing jobs? Where are they to over turn antiquated laws suppressing the ability to generate money through advertizements? How about putting some of the highway lights on timers that shut off at low periods of traffic? What if we crack down on the rampant abuse of Dealer Plates in this state? Or other tax dodging tactics?
    To fix the problem people need work. When the private sector is pigeoned holed refusing to do what is necessary, whose left but the public sector. Which history tells us bailed our asses out of another depression. The more workers you have, the bigger your tax base is. The bigger your tax base, the less burden on the individual. Pressure should be on both parties to restore American jobs to fix this mess. The stalwart tactics by both sides of the line prove that your best interests are not in their interests.

    • Forget incentives to certain companies reduce taxes on ALL companies, cut social service and elminate the work fare mentality of the average Rhode Islander.

      This is what is wrong with Rhode Islanders. I find the people of Rhode Island myopic, provincial, show lack of insight, are emotionally gifted, have poor judgment, are ethically challenged, and are morally bankrupt.
      Until you people correct your behavior and change your thinking nothing good is going to happen here.

  4. Letting Providence go bankrupt is no small thing. It would be bad for the whole state.

    However it still may be the better option than saving Providence as it is.

    I would not vote for any politician that is in favor of saving Providence with state money unless there where legal garuntees of significant changes like contract renegotiations among others.

    If it is going to be the same old same old then let it go bankrupt and we’ll suffer the consequences, at least that way there would be some hope of better future.

  5. Asking whether if people favors the state helping to save Providence from bankruptcy without asking whether they are willing to pay for it and the amount they are willing to pay and the conditions – as bumnchoffools points out – is misleading. It is the same as asking people whether they would like to own a Cadillac (or insert your favorite high priced car if you don’t like Cadillacs) without asking what they are willing to pay for it. You will get very different answers if you ask whether the would be willing to pay $30,000 or $50,000 for the car.

  6. Providence has a spending problem. The taxes are high enough. State taxpayers already pay for schools in Providenc (and CF). Just because the bankers stole our money we should continue to let the folks with ‘generous contracts’ steal our money forever? Let’s start from scratch! Providence as it stands is not worth saving.

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