Gov. Raimondo signs $9.6B budget for Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo at the signing of the Fiscal Year 2019 Rhode Island budget is joined by legislative leaders. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed the state’s $9.6 billion budget.

The Democrat signed it at the statehouse Friday.

The budget allows the state to implement sports betting at two Twin River casinos, asks voters to authorize $250 million in bonds for school construction and restores funding for people with developmental disabilities. It increases the fee medical marijuana dispensaries pay from $5,000 to $250,000.

It’s about $300 million more than last year’s budget.

Raimondo says the budget protects economic progress the state has made and reflects shared values.

She applauded investments in schools and job training, her top priorities. She highlighted increased spending on foster care and senior centers.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the budget maintains services without broad tax increases. It continues phasing out the car tax, Mattiello’s priority.