Gov.-elect Raimondo says state faces 'crushing' budget gap, but no quick fix likely

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo warned Saturday against expecting any quick fix to the state's budget deficit or other major problems facing Rhode Island during her first 100 days in office.

"Right now, I'm walking into a crushing budget deficit," Raimondo said in an interview with WPRO-AM. "It's bad. I'm not going to lie. It's a bad situation."

The deficit in Rhode Island's $8 billion budget has been estimated at nearly $200 million.

"People should not be waiting for, you know, kind of one big announcement or one executive order. I know a lot of governors do it that way. That's not my approach," said Raimondo.

The governor-elect, a Democrat who takes office Jan. 6, promised to take a deliberative approach to solving the state's fiscal and lingering economic difficulties.

"We're always looking for one big deal, one big silver bullet," she told the station, suggesting that the tendency to seek a quick fix led to 38 Studios. It was a reference to the failed video game company run by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling that was lured to Rhode Island with a $75 million state loan guarantee.

Rhode Island needs to identify its own strengths as part of a long-term economic strategy, she said.

The state's unemployment rate in November stood at 7.1 percent, a drop of three-tenths of a point from the previous month but still well above the national jobless rate of 5.8 percent.


Information from: WPRO-AM, http://www.630wpro.com/

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