BALLOON: State Budget Outpaces Inflation By 33-Percent Over Last Decade


It never stops growing.

The Rhode Island state budget is set to outpace inflation by a stunning 33-percent over the last decade.

The state budget continues to grow, despite stagnant personal income among citizens.

(That assumes that legislators decide to enact Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed $9.37 billion fiscal year 2019 budget.)

In Fiscal Year 2010, which encompassed half of 2009 and half of 2010, (the state’s fiscal year runs from July 1st until June 30th) the state ran on an enacted budget of $7.81 billion.

This year, the Governor has proposed a budget of $9.37 billion.

That means the state budget will grow by 20-percent over the last decade.

Meanwhile, inflation over that same time period has increased by just 15-percent.

Therefore, the growth of the state budget in Rhode Island has outpaced inflation by 33-percent.

The numbers reflect the administration of three governors (Donald Carcieri, Lincoln Chafee, and Raimondo), two Speakers of the House of Representatives (Gordon Fox, Nicholas Mattiello) and two Senate Presidents (Teresa Paiva Weed, Dominick Ruggerio).

According to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Rhode Islanders have had the fourth lowest rate of annual growth in personal income since the onset of the great recession. The state’s personal income growth increased by just .8 percent. Only Connecticut, Illinois, and Mississippi had a lower personal income growth rate, according to the data.

The growth of state government spending outpaced the personal income growth rates.

The national average, over the same time period was 1.6-percent yearly. That’s exactly double the personal growth rate of Rhode Islanders.

An actual reporter’s notebook.
Russell Moore
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