Reflecting on the Accomplishments of 2013

A new year is upon us, and I am thankful for the opportunity to look back and reflect upon the accomplishments of the Treasury team.

Of particular note is how well we worked with our colleagues in the legislature. This past session, we worked with Speaker Fox to create a predictable funding stream for cities and towns to invest in their infrastructure and create jobs through the Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Fund. This legislation:

  •  Builds on the success of the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Authority, an expansion modeled after other states
  •  Provides local budget relief by lowering annual debt service payments
  •  Creates economic opportunities for the construction trades
  •  Continues the momentum of pension reform, allowing us to invest in the future

More than a dozen municipalities applied for funding through this program. We expect the final projects to be selected early in the new year.

We also partnered with Speaker Fox, Reps. Williams, Hearn, Naughton and Ajello, Senators Nesselbush, Sosnowski, Crowley, Gallo and Goldin to strengthen our Crime Victims Program. We are providing relocation expenses for victims of violent crime, including those impacted by domestic violence, and we are keeping families safe. Often for victims of domestic violence, rebuilding begins with finding a new place to call home or traveling to loved ones for protection. This life-altering legislation provides up to $2,500 for victims to relocate.

Our Empower RI program also made huge strides in 2013.  From helping to kick-off the Earned Income Tax Credit program, to Financial Empowerment Roundtable discussions, to more than 20 Smart Money stops throughout the state, Treasury is working for everyone.

Our high school financial literacy program, EverFi, has increased in popularity. Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year, Patricia Page from East Greenwich High School, had this to say about the web-based program:EverFi is an engaging, interactive platform that is the perfect technology component to a blended learning environment. The program augments the classroom instruction.”

I would like to acknowledge our Financial Coaching Corps partners, specifically the Capital Good Fund. Together, we have helped thousands of Rhode Islanders become financially secure.

By working with partners in and out of government, we are creating a stronger Rhode Island. We look forward to continuing to build on this progress in 2014.

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