Lawmakers submit bill to monetize Providence water system

February 14, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence lawmakers have again submitted a bill to monetize the Rhode Island city’s water system.

The bill announced Wednesday would allow the Providence Water Supply Board to partner with outside water authorities with limited rate increases while maintaining public oversight.

The city has been discussing an arrangement with the quasi-public Narragansett Bay Commission over the past year.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says the bill would help the city’s underfunded pension system, which has an estimated $1 billion liability.

Rep. Scott Slater says the bill is in the best interest of the entire state.

Past attempts to pass similar legislation has been met with skepticism from lawmakers.

Elorza says he will host three community sessions about the proposed bill in March.