Rhode Island governor signs $10B state budget

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed a nearly $10 billion state budget that boosts spending on education and continues a car tax phase-out.

The Democrat said in a statement Friday that “several of my top priorities that will significantly improve the lives of all Rhode Islanders are contained in this budget,” including universal public pre-K and other education initiatives, protecting Affordable Care Act benefits, and higher pay for those working with the developmentally disabled.

She did criticize the $9.97 billion budget for cuts to a jobs training program, and restrictions on increasing the state child welfare agency’s budget in the case of unforeseen circumstances.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello called it a “pro-business, pro-education budget” while holding off on significant tax increases. The fiscal year started July 1.