Tuesday, September 13th is Primary Day!

Tuesday, September 13th is Primary Day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Six important issues

As the September 13th primary approaches, here are my views on some of the most important issues facing our state.  If you have thoughts on these topics, or others, please call me at 782-2484 or email me at dickinson@riconnect.com.

The voters did not want this.  They don’t trust it and don’t want to start down the road toward tolling everything with wheels.  It’s a slap in the face of business, and this state will be sued big time by truck owners at the national level.  We don’t need that.  My opponent followed the Speaker’s orders and voted for this bill.  I would not have.  If I am elected, I will move to repeal the bill and take a fresh look at the whole issue.

Shortly after I was elected in 2010, I made it known that I could not take part in the legislative grant program.  I believe the legislative grant is little more than a currency used by the leadership to buy the cooperation of the rank and file.  I work for you.  My vote is not for sale.  But contrary to what you may be hearing, that did not make me ineffective.  I am proud to say that in my last months in office, I was able to be part of bringing a $120 million engineering school to District 35. More on legislative grants here.

Despite every effort to sweep it under the rug, this issue will not go away.  The people deserve a real investigation and real answers.  In the first two years the bailout appeared in the budget, I voted against it.  For the last two years, my opponent voted to support the 38 Studios bailout.  I would not have.  If you elect me, I will press for a real investigation.

Look for the developers of the Industrial Trust building to try to walk away with around 38 million dollars of tax credits (your real money) in the next session.  Would you support that before seeing a detailed budget and business plan showing why it was needed?  I would not.  Then ask yourself, would my opponent, based on recent history, just follow the speaker’s orders on that? 

The president of URI reports to a three-person board.  He is one of those three people.  That is not a model for a successful institution.  What we need is a long-term Board of Overseers with institutional memory and a degree of separation from politics.  I visualize 30 or more members, some of whom might have been in place for 20 years.  With their guidance, the university could only improve.  With their advocacy, an appropriate degree of funding will be possible.  If you elect me, I will work for this needed change, and our university will take its place as one of the great engineering universities in the world.

Our biggest problem in this state is that we just don’t make good decisions.  We don’t do real oversight, and we don’t address broad policy issues.  We have some bad rules, bad habits, bad traditions.  We put way too much power in the hands of one person, the Speaker.  Instead, we need thoughtful deliberation by committees.  We don’t have that.  My opponent has signaled that she is comfortable with the system the way it is.  I think you know that I am not.  If you elect me, I will call on my years of experience and a few friends who agree, and with your support, we will begin to make a few changes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Thank you for electing me to serve as your state representative for the last four years.

And thanks to the more than 600 of you who have communicated with me by phone, email, and letter.  Your insights are extremely valuable.

I hope I hear from more of you, and I ask for your vote to return me to the legislature so I can continue my work on the complex issues facing our state.

Your support is very much appreciated.