State lawmakers trying to get back to work

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's state legislature could start getting back to work soon, the House Speaker says.

The House Finance Committee is aiming to meet Thursday for the first time since the coronavirus shut down the legislative session in mid-March, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello told The Providence Journal.

The 15-member committee will probably meet in the House lounge or perhaps the House chamber itself, where there is more room for social distancing, the Cranston Democrat said.

While state finances and moving ahead on a new budget is top priority, lawmakers have a list of concerns they still hope the General Assembly can address this year, he said.

They include the working conditions and pay of frontline health care workers, the financial stability of the state’s hospitals and nursing homes, and the financial plight of cities and towns.

Despite potential state revenue losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, he said there is a lot of concern about preserving state aid to cities and towns.