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Governor Raimondo Signs PawSox Funding Bill — Costs $83 Million More in Financing than Sen. Version

Saturday, June 30, 2018

 

Governor Gina Raimondo

Governor Gina Raimondo announced on Friday afternoon, she has signed the PawSox funding bill pushed forward last week by Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello.

According to the State Senate’s fiscal analysis, the legislation increases the cost of the financing by $83 million over the Senate version.

Raimondo states in signing the bill, “As I've said all along, the PawSox belong in Pawtucket. No one wants to see them end up in Worcester. This legislation gives Mayor Grebien an opportunity to work with the team over the coming months to keep them here, and it gives Pawtucket a shot at meaningful economic revitalization."

Two weeks earlier Raimondo said that regardless of the Speaker’s claim that his bill removed risk from deal, that taxpayers would still be obligated.

Public Opposition

“With taxes being the most significant challenge facing the state in the eyes of voters, building broad public support for a Paw Sox stadium deal that includes public financing of most any kind continues to be an uphill battle,” said Harvard pollster John Della Volpe who conducted the statewide poll in partnership with GoLocal. The poll was released earlier in June.

Just 13 percent of Rhode Islanders ‘strongly support’ public financing and on 33 percent overall support state funding.

The poll question asked, “The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?”

Net: Favor                    33%

Strongly favor             13%

Somewhat favor          21%

Net: Oppose                59%

Somewhat oppose      21%

Strongly oppose         38%

Don't know                   8%

“With an understanding that the General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium -- we found that a solid majority of likely voters are opposed to the use of public funds to help finance the stadium.  Nearly three-in-five (59%) likely voters tell us that they are generally opposed to the use of public funds for the stadium, including 38% who strongly oppose the measure.  In contrast, one-third of voters favor public funds for this purpose -- with 13% strongly in favor,” said Della Volpe in early June when releasing the poll conducted in partnership with GoLocalProv.

Della Volpe is Director of Polling at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

 

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