Magaziner advocates for upping state bonding in final FY 21 budget

PROVIDENCE – As state lawmakers continue to weigh a not-yet-finalized fiscal 2021 spending plan, R.I. Treasurer Seth Magaziner is touting the state’s borrowing capacity as an important piece of the budget puzzle to stimulate economic recovery and help those most hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Magaziner reiterated his office’s previously published recommendation that the state could borrow up to $587 million through general obligation bonds and certificates of participation – $200 million more than the $387 million in Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s recommended budget.

“As the General Assembly considers the governor’s proposed budget, we encourage prioritizing bonding for projects that will be most impactful in improving public health, catalyzing economic recovery and supporting Rhode Islanders facing hardship due to the COVID-19 epidemic,” Magaziner said in a statement.

The additional borrowing is both “affordable and reasonable,” keeping the state within the R.I. Public Finance Management Board guidelines for maximum borrowing in the current fiscal year, and leaving up to $417 million in additional borrowing on the table for consideration by voters in 2022, the release stated.

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Over the next decade, the state’s borrowing capacity will be up to $2 billion as more old debt is retired.

Nancy Lavin is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at