House lawmakers meet on RI's tanking economy

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2009 8:16 AM

State lawmakers are debating plans ranging from auto racing to consolidating municipal services to steer Rhode Island through a bleak financial crisis.

The proposals were raised Thursday during a closed-door caucus of Democratic lawmakers convened by House Speaker William Murphy.

He has called it a first step to dealing with a failing economy that has driven unemployment to 13 percent and produced massive state budget deficits.

Rep. Peter Palumbo, a Cranston Democrat, said each lawmaker was allowed to present their ideas for economic development. After emerging from the meeting, Palumbo said they discussed encouraging auto racing matches and the need to hear more frequently from state business leaders.

Murphy said he opposed raising taxes to balance the faltering state budget.