Gov. Gina Raimondo in tonight's State of the State speech will announce proposals involving her free college tuition program, free pre-kindergarten, affordable housing funding and her signature job training program, state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor told The Journal on Tuesday afternoon.
"The governor's message will be that we should double down on the investments and programs that are working," Pryor said in a State House interview around three hours before Raimondo's scheduled 7 p.m. speech.
The investments and programs Pryor says are working include the Rhode Island Promise scholarship, which provides two tuition-free years at the Community College of Rhode Island, but is set to sunset after this year's high school seniors go through the program.
"Look for governor to explain the importance of this very successful program to the Rhode Island economy and explain what is necessary to sustain the success of Rhode Island Promise," Pryor said when asked to elaborate on what she is proposing. "Look for the governor to make specific commitments."
Similarly, Pryor said Raimondo's speech will also include "specific commitments" on the future of the Real Jobs Rhode Island job training program, which lets employers design state job training curricula to teach workers what they need to have to fill open positions.
And on the "expansion opportunities" for free public pre-k, which Raimondo has said she wants to eventually make universal.
He said Raimondo will also, as expected, call for "new commitments to housing production" tonight.
Rhode Island is the only state in the Northeast without a dedicated funding stream for housing production, Pryor said.