ISSUES

"Since being elected in 2010, I have dedicated my time to serving you, the people of the 26th House District.  Too many Rhode Islanders are just scraping by, so we need to not only create more jobs, but better paying jobs.  We need to reduce taxes and  take the wasteful spending of the state off of the shoulders of everyday Rhode Islanders.  Our schools are crumbling, and it's time to take a hard look at priorities in our state; with our children receiving the best education possible as a top priority.  Tax and spend is not the way to a better future, reducing spending, cutting unnecessary programs, and returning the windfall to Rhode Islanders is how we stimulate the state's economy.  Please join me in making Rhode Island a better state for every Rhode Islander; together we can get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
Reforming Social Security

Rhode Island is one of only six states to tax social security and other retirement benefits at the federal level, with more than 60,000 Rhode Islanders paying state income taxes on social security, retirement disability and/or survivor benefits.  In an effort to protect Rhode Island’s seniors and provide them with some well-deserved tax relief, in 2015, Patricia introduced H7207; a bill intended to repeal RI taxes on social security and other retirement benefits.  

Fighting Against Tolls & Increased Taxes

Patricia fears that whether Rhode Islanders directly pay at the tollbooth or indirectly in the increased cost of everything purchased, Rhode Islanders have been saddled with a hurtful and damaging burden that could have been avoided.   Instead of reducing spending, Rhode Island continues to find new ways to tax its citizens.  As such, Patricia has voted against toll legislation, and in 2017, she sponsored H6109 to repeal truck only tolls.

Fighting Against Tolls & Increased Taxes

Patricia fears that whether Rhode Islanders directly pay at the tollbooth or indirectly in the increased cost of everything purchased, Rhode Islanders have been saddled with a hurtful and damaging burden that could have been avoided.   Instead of reducing spending, Rhode Island continues to find new ways to tax its citizens.  As such, Patricia has voted against toll legislation, and in 2017, she sponsored H6109 to repeal truck only tolls.

Improving Children's Well Being

Child welfare advocates have long argued that animal abuse is a predictor of child abuse.  With her background as a special education teacher, Patricia has long fought for child protection. In 2015 and annually since, Patricia has introduced a bill, supported by all stakeholders, that would establish a cross reporting system for animal, child, and domestic abuse among the respective responsible agencies.

Improving the Small Business Environment

Largely due to the State’s regulatory environment, business costs, and economic climate, for over a decade Rhode Island has ranked in the bottom quarter of Forbes’s “Best States for Business” index.  In an effort to counter such business disincentives, in 2012, Patricia co-sponsored H8024, a bill requiring a cost/benefit analysis and periodic review of all regulations governing or impacting small businesses.

Easing Tax Burdens

Rhode Islanders face the third highest estate tax burden in the United States, and many successful Rhode Islanders relocate elsewhere to avoid this confiscatory death tax, thus depriving the state of income and sales taxes and other economic benefits that would accrue to the state’s benefit.  In an effort to mitigate this situation, Patricia has annually sponsored legislation since 2011 that would raise the estate tax exemption in parallel to federal law for both small businesses and individuals.

Providing Better Healthcare

Rhode Island is having a crisis of access to physicians and patient care.  Rhode Island has cut Medicaid reimbursements several times in the last few years and many doctors have lost their private practices; this all leads to fewer medical options for patients. Patricia believes that physicians are a critical and vital component to the health and wellness of our residents.  As such, in 2017 Patricia introduces H5671, H5672 & H5673. These bill will allow doctors freedom of choice in maintaining their professional licenses, will will grant reciprocal licenses for physicians in other states and foreign jurisdictions and establish a process to license these physicians.

Government Oversight Reform

Patricia has been a strong watchdog for waste, fraud and abuse in our social service programs. Rhode Island residents on public assistance with EBT cards are able to use their cards for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, and pornography.  Patricia believes that there should be a safety net for those that truly need government assistance, but has long been a watchdog against such obvious abuses.  In 2012 and since, Patricia has introduced bills to strengthen government oversight and protect welfare cash assistance for the truly needy.

Tort Reform

In Rhode Island, an involved party judged to be as little as 1 % liable, can be held responsible for the total costs of any judgment, thus creating further disincentive for businesses to locate in Rhode Island.  Since 2001 Patricia has annually sponsored legislation to reform joint and several liability laws in keeping with

42 other states.

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© 2016 by  Patricia Morgan for State Rep