Who knows what kind of governor Ken Block would have made had he won in 2010 instead of Lincoln D. Chafee? As a leading member of the Smaller Business Association of New England, he is certainly providing an interesting look into what might have been.
After six months worth of weekly meetings, a team of SBANE members, including Mr. Block, has come up with an economic-policy agenda, promising further initiatives in coming years.
Among the ideas worth considering is the reallocation of $4 million spent annually on English-as-a- second-language training from the R.I. Department of Labor and Training’s Job Development Fund to actual job training. The SBANE group also advocates adopting an exemption on the capital gains tax for investments in Rhode Island-based business going forward, based on a similar measure in New Hampshire that attracted many high-flying companies when it was enacted.
The SBANE group’s broad approach to economic development deserves not just attentive listening but urgent action. •