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Governor Carcieri Warns of Budget Shortfall (posted Jan. 22, 2006)

Governor Don Carcieri is warning the state about what he says is an impending $240 million shortfall in the state budget. Appearing on the WJAR-TV interview show "10 News Conference", the Governor said "this is going to be a very tough budget." In his State of the State speech this week, he indicated that he will be "calling for some things that go further than we have gone in a few years." When asked for specifics, he refused to go into detail, but warned there needed to be personnel reductions across the state, both in terms of union and non-union jobs.

On other issues, Carcieri expressed his view that on disaster planning, "we are in better shape from a terrorism and homeland security standpoint", but that after reviewing plans for hurricanes, "we weren't up to snuff." He called on cities and towns to finish updating their plans for emergency evacuations and disaster preparedness.

In regard to the indictment of the Roger Williams Medical Center, the Governor expressed concern over the hospital's legal situation. "An indictment doesn't trigger anything, but a conviction does." He noted that the hospital has been put on a credit-watch and needs to be certain it can meet its financial and service obligations.