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2015 AGENDA
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FISCAL REFORM


01. While the pension reform law is in the hands of the courts, oppose any legislation to
      ​​water down its content.

02. Support Phase II of Public Sector Benefit Reform including legislation that:


            a. Supports “Other Post Employment Benefits” (OPEB) reforms, especially in the area
               ​ of health benefits at the state and local levels.

            b. Reintroduces the changes to the disability pensions as proposed in the original
               ​ pension reform bill.

            c. Supports our municipalities' ability to suspend pension COLAs and use "at least"
                ​the state's actuarial assumptions for pension returns if more conservative than the
                ​ones currently in use.

            d. Opposes any attempts to circumvent pension reform by locking down the retired
               ​ employee benefits as a property right.

            e. Opposes any legislation that allows the state to provide additional bailouts of
               ​ bankrupt municipal pension plans.

03. Support removal of employee benefits, such as healthcare and pension, from collective
     ​ bargaining agreement.

04. Support E-Verify to cause the State of RI to uphold federal law.

05. Oppose extending financial benefits and privileges to illegal aliens, including driver's licenses.

06. Support welfare reform that reduces waste, fraud and abuse and provides incentives to
      ​reduce dependence on the welfare system.

07. Support passage of zero-based budgeting.

08. Support legislation that ties public sector compensation, including benefits, to private sector
     ​ levels.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM


01. Oppose any new legislation and repeal current legislation that removes fiscal authority from
     ​ locally elected officials through binding arbitration and perpetual contracts for public
​      employees.


02. Repeal the Caruolo Act that allows school departments to sue their town to force funding of
     ​ the school’s proposed budget while disregarding the town’s ability to pay.

03. Support legislation that allows consolidation of the same functions within municipalities,
   ​   such as accounting departments, and encourages consolidation among municipalities in
      ​order to gain efficiencies.

04. Support legislation that requires municipal and school district collective bargaining agreements
    ​  (CBA) to limit language in the Duration Clause insuring the expiration date of a three year
   ​   agreement.

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE REFORM


01. Support legislation that restores freedom of choice for public employees. Repeal RI General
   ​   Laws mandating dues/shop fee payment for public employees as a condition of employment.

02. Oppose Card Check and any legislation that increases the union intimidation factor and
      bypasses secret ballot election.

03. Oppose statewide teacher contracts.

04. Support ​​legislation to reverse the unionization of private daycare workers, especially in
      the light of the recent Supreme ​Court decision.


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REFORM


01. Oppose any tax increase, recognizing that the state ranks in the top 10 already for taxation.

02. Support elimination of the minimum business corporate tax.

03. Support legislation that mirrors the Federal Estate Tax Exemption. 

04. Support legislation that reduces the heavy burden placed on small businesses with excessive
     ​ regulations to attract new business to RI.

05. ​Oppose any further increase of the minimum wage, which is currently set at $9.00  
      ​hour 
beginning Jan. 1, 2015

​​
EDUCATION REFORM


01. Support legislation that codifies RI’s Basic Education Plan (BEP), and legislation that allows
      ​RI to adhere to the practices that provided a federal grant for Race to the Top. Support
    ​  reversal of 2014 legislation that gutted education reform, specifically annual teacher
      ​evaluations (H 7096) and standardized testing as a graduation (H 8363) requirement.


02. Support public school choice to provide parents their right to enroll their students in high
      ​performing schools.

03. Support the creation of additional charter schools and mayoral academies.​​




GOOD GOVERNMENT REFORM


01. Support legislation to create an independent council, complete with subpoena power,
      ​​to investigate ​the former Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC, currently named the
​      RI Commerce Corporation) loan guaranty to 38 Studios.


02. Oppose legislation that invites voter fraud - Repeal of Voter ID, same day voter registration,
​      and on-line voting.

03. Support legislation that protects the voting rights of all citizens - clean up of voter rolls,
     ​ better control over the mail ballot process.

04. Support a requirement that all bills introduced in the General Assembly MUST be voted
     ​ on by committee members as a matter of record.

05. Support run-off elections requiring a majority vote for all state office races.

06. Support a bill to require public comment prior to voting on the final version of any proposed
      legislation.

07. Require a fiscal impact note on ALL proposed legislation that includes a full analysis, not
      just a cursory estimate.

08. Discontinue the use of legislative grants.

09. Oppose regulations and/or legislation co-opting the new Health Insurance Exchange to
​      become a one-stop shopping center for all welfare benefits, similar to the proposed
      ​2014H 7833. Support legislation that requires a fiscal impact note on all proposed changes           in benefit levels and changes in the determination of eligibility.

​10​​. Support legislation that creates an Inspector General type of function which roots out waste,
      fraud and abuse in state and local government.


ALTERNATIVE ENERGY LEGISLATION


1. Support legislation requiring reporting to the General Assembly on the financial results of all
​    prior alternative energy legislation, including DeepWater, and all new proposed projects​
   ​ generated from the passage of ​2014 green energy and climate change bills
    ​(H 7904/H7727/H7991).

PROPERTY RIGHTS

1. Oppose legislation that allows the state to infringe on basic property ownership rights.