Listen to my interview with Tara Granahan this morning on my support for the 911 Integrity Act, a piece of federal legislation introduced by Rep. Collins of New York with bipartisan support that will ensure that states use their 911 fee revenue to fund emergency services.
Rhode Island instituted the 911 fee in 1997 as a surcharge on your phone bill to fund emergency services. In 2017 alone, the state collected approximately $17 million in 911 fees, but the State diverted $11 million of that revenue to the General Fund, leaving our critical emergency services in our cities and towns underfunded, understaffed, and without the resources they need to upgrade and modernize. This misuse of critical funding is unacceptable.
More broadly, we should apply this same accountability to legislated sources of revenue originally introduced to fund infrastructure. As Rhode Island’s next U.S. Senator, I will support legislation that will incentivize states to use the car tax, the gasoline tax, and/or other transportation fees to fund the infrastructure development which Rhode Island and our country so desperately needs. We would not need to enact discriminatory tolls to fund infrastructure if Rhode Island had more fiscal discipline. Because of Rhode Island’s and other states’ failure to invest transportation-related tax revenues in infrastructure, the federal government should step in and encourage states use their car tax, gasoline tax, and other sources of transportaion funding towards infrastructure.FacebookTwitterGoogle +