Joe Shekarchi is a strong ally of the business world

to the editor,

We write in strong support for the re-election of Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi. In his ten years as a state representative, including the last two years as speaker of the House of Representatives, Joe has demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the challenges facing Rhode Island businesses.

One of the hallmarks of Joe’s leadership is his open-door policy. Regardless of political affiliation or background, Joe takes the time to listen to feedback from a range of individuals and organizations and actively seeks their input, whether on proposed legislation or the state’s use of federal funds.

Joe wants to do what is best for our state and is willing to work with anyone who needs to get the job done. As talks between the State of Rhode Island and IGT/Bally’s stalled, Joe personally negotiated the agreement to ensure these large employers stayed in Rhode Island. As a result, more than 1,000 jobs have been saved here in Rhode Island, companies have invested more than $250 million in our state, and Rhode Island’s third largest source of income has been preserved. Joe also convinced Bally’s to open a new office in Warwick, which created even more jobs.

During his tenure as Speaker, Joe has passed three state budgets. None of them had broad-based tax hikes or income tax hikes. In fact, the most recent budget permanently abolished road taxes and included childcare tax breaks for working families.

Joe also made sure the state invested $100 million in its Unemployment Trust Fund, which will cut corporate unemployment tax rates for 2023. He has ensured that the budgets he champions are focused on maintaining good jobs and also include significant funds for vocational training and manpower investment.

Despite many challenges, Joe’s guidance and steady hand has helped countless businesses through the pandemic. He also worked closely with the RI Commerce Corporation to provide government facilitation for local businesses and also helped facilitate government support for businesses.

Joe Shekarchi is exactly the leader we need at the top during this critical time. We urge Warwick voters to put Joe back in the State House and keep Rhode Island’s economic momentum going.

David Chenevert, executive director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association

John Hazen White, Executive Chairman of the Taco family of companies


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