The final hope for supporters of the Woonsocket supplemental tax authorization bill rests in the hands of the General Assembly tonight, during the last hours of the 2012 session.
If it's not passed before the session ends sometime late this coming morning, said Larry Berman, communications director for Speaker Gordon Fox, there'll be no supplemental tax. Earlier this evening, RIFuture.org reported that though the Woonsocket Delegation has still not agreed to back the bill, Fox said he wasn't sure whether the House would vote on the measure without their support.
"Speaker Fox would prefer to have the support of the Woonsocket Delegation," Berman said this evening. Earlier, Berman had said the bill would not be heard without their support.
On June 6, the Woonsocket Budget Commission, formed days after the supplemental tax bill was tabled by the House, voted to ask the General Assembly to reconsider the bill. Members said they hoped the panel's study of the situation and their support would lend strength to the argument to bring the bill back.
Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly was continuing talks with members of the Woonsocket Delegation this evening, said Christine Hunsinger, communications director for Gov. Lincoln Chafee. She said the revenue director hoped to win their support for the supplemental tax. "They're still talking," she said.
Rep. Lisa Baldelli Hunt (Democrat - District 49, Woonsocket) led local legislators' opposition to the bill in a passionate speech before the House May 24.
Hunsinger said the governor's position on the supplemental tax, that it was an unfortunate necessity, was unchanged.