Cranston, RI – Speaker Nicholas Mattiello will be holding a press conference to unveil his legislative priorities for 2017. This press conference is being called during campaign season, after a robo-poll was conducted within the district, and after publication of a Sunday
Providence Journal story where Mattiello indicated he should not be held responsible for the new tolls, 38 Studios, or assembling an unethical leadership team.
Steven Frias, a candidate for Rep. District 15, commented: «Speaker Mattiello is only calling this press conference because he needs to push the reset button on his campaign. Voters are dissatisfied and he is afraid they will hold him accountable. Whatever the Speaker proposes for 2017, the question must be asked: Why didn’t he do this during the last three legislative sessions while he reigned as Speaker, and why is he proposing it now right before the election?»
Frias added: «Rhode Island’s priorities should be government reforms, like a line item veto, a prohibition on moral obligation bonds, legislative grant reform, term limits for legislators, and policies like repealing the new tolls, and dramatically lowering Rhode Island’s taxes, including the car tax. A reason Cranston taxpayers pay high car taxes is because Mattiello, as House Majority Leader, supported an end to the car tax phase-out in 2010 (House Journal 6/3/10). Ever since then, Cranston taxpayers have paid nearly $10 million more a year in car taxes (Cranston Budgets 2010-2017). In 2016, Mattiello had the opportunity to lower car taxes. Instead, he shot down a budget amendment which would have phased out the car tax by ending both his politically self-serving legislative grant program and Governor Raimondo’s new corporate welfare program, Rebuild RI, which recently awarded millions to a controversial real estate developer (ProJo 6/16/16, GoLocal Prov 9/28/16). Mattiello had his chance to put Rhode Island on the right track. He failed. Rhode Island’s top legislative priority for 2017 should be to clean house. This begins with voting out Speaker Mattiello, the man who pushed through the new tolls, championed the 38 Studios legislation, put together an unethical leadership team, and stuck Cranston taxpayers with millions more in car taxes.»