Raimondo seeks $223M more in state bonds this year to finance housing, economic-development efforts

GOV. GINA M. RAIMONDO will seek an additional $223 million more in state bonds this year to finance housing AND economic development efforts in her proposed budget / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced Monday she intends to seek substantially more through state bonding this year for housing, infrastructure and environmental improvements.

The bonds, which would need to be placed on the November ballot by the R.I. General Assembly, would include $310.5 million for housing investments, an increase of $223 million from the amount she originally proposed for it in her January budget submission.

About $65 million of the housing money would be put toward a program that creates affordable housing, including the development or repair of 2,000 apartment units. The bond would also provide competitive grants for projects that help provide stability for families, cities and towns that have been economically damaged by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Another $183 million would go to infrastructure that makes the state more competitive, the governor said, in a news release. This would include $35 million for restoring industrial products and for site preparation for offshore wind developments. The Port of Davisville at Quonset would also receive $11 million.

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Voter approval would be required.

In proposing the dramatic increase in state borrowing, the governor cited a recent evaluation by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who said the state could safely borrow as much as $587 million this year for economic purposes.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.

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