Tracking Key Votes
In 2019, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns began tracking key votes in the General Assembly on legislation affecting cities and towns.
While Rhode Island’s cities and towns may differ in size, geography and demographics, the League’s municipal members are united in our principles regarding legislation:
- We SUPPORT legislation that promotes municipal decision-making, local innovation and sufficient state aid to schools and municipalities.
- WE OPPOSE legislation that preempts local decision-making, as well as any unfunded mandates on cities and towns, particularly those affecting public employees.
With personnel costs representing as much 75% of municipal budgets in some communities, state mandates on municipal staffing, benefits or contractual terms interfere with local officials’ ability to balance their budgets in a manner that respects both employees and taxpayers. Further, cities and towns are funded primarily by property taxes, and Rhode Island had the sixth highest property tax burden in the nation. The General Assembly should be working to reduce that burden, not increasing it through costly state mandates.
The League’s legislative scorecard shows how each state Senator and Representative voted on key bills and amendments affecting cities and towns and local taxpayers. We encourage all Senators and Representatives to support their local officials and property taxpayers and stand with the RI League of Cities and Towns in its legislative agenda.