Chafee budget summit draws about 150
One of the first challenges Lincoln Chafee will face as governor is plugging a projected $295-million deficit in next year's state budget, the result of rising costs for state services and huge declines in revenue, including the elimination of the federal stimulus money that propped up this year's state budget.
Chafee, well aware of the magnitude of the problem, promised during his campaign that he'd hold a brain-storming session even before he took office.
He fulfilled that campaign pledge by holding a three-hour budget summit on Dec. 17 at Rhode Island College.
The meeting included representatives from government, business, labor, education, social services and municipal affairs. About 150 people were in the audience to hear Rosemary Booth Gallogly, acting director of the state Department of Revenue, warn that, unless something is done, the budget deficit will grow to $457.8 million by 2016.
Whether the summit produced answers that will help get the budget under control is debatable.
But because Chafee held his summit, we rate this as a Promise Kept.