After months of deliberation, standoffs and subsequent silence, the Rhode Island legislature has come to an agreement on a budget for fiscal 2018.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio announced Monday that after a series of “productive discussions” the Senate is set to vote on the original budget passed by the House, though without the much-debated car tax amendment that sparked the standoff on June 30.
The Senate plans to hold a final vote on the budget when it reconvenes Thursday.
“As part of the agreement, both leaders plan to present stand-alone legislation to their respective chambers that will address concerns related to the sustainability of the car tax phase-out,” according to a press release.
After voting on the budget Thursday, the Senate will take up the car tax phase-out legislation. The House is expected to take up the legislation during a fall session starting Sept. 19 along with other legislation that has been up in the air since the standoff began.
“I’m pleased the Senate recognized the importance of moving forward and reconvening Thursday to finalize the budget process,” Mattiello said.
Although Rhode Island should have a finalized budget by the end of the week, the standoff will have repercussions.
According to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office, the state plans to make local aid payments as scheduled Aug. 1 based on the budget for fiscal 2017 as per state law.
After the Senate passes the new budget it will be presented to Raimondo for a final review and approval.