R.I. state budget provides increased investment in URI

University’s $110.8 million appropriation “signals continued positive investment by the state in its flagship research university”

KINGSTON, R.I. — June 20, 2024 — Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee signed the state’s nearly $14 billion 2025 fiscal year budget into law on Monday, June 17. The budget, which received support in both the state House of Representatives and Senate, provides increased investment in the University of Rhode Island.

Under the new budget, the University will receive $110.8 million in state appropriation for operating expenses, an increase of $5.4 million over FY24. The University also will receive $14 million in capital plan (RICAP) asset protection funding; $20 million in RICAP funding for a PFAS water treatment plant; and $87.5 million for a general obligation bond for the construction of a biomedical sciences building on the Kingston Campus. The bond referendum will require the approval of Rhode Island voters during the November general election.

The state budget “signals continued positive investment by the state in its flagship research university,” said URI President Marc Parlange. Noting the University’s broad statewide impact, Parlange said, “The ongoing transformation of the Bay Campus is fueling blue economy activity. We are advancing life sciences in new and meaningful ways through our participation in the Rhode Island Life Sciences Hub, sustained investment in INBRE, and support for the 2024 biomedical sciences bond. And we are actively and positively addressing the state’s health care crisis through innovative work happening across several of our colleges and centers.”

“We came together as a team and delivered a budget that continues to put Rhode Island on a path to improve educational outcomes, raise incomes for all Rhode Islanders, and build a healthier state,” the governor said in a release. 

House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, in a release, said the budget was the result of a collaborative process and provides “a plan that meets Rhode Island’s needs for education, students and children first, while addressing our challenges, such as housing and health care.” Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio noted, “the budget will invest in many senate priorities, particularly in the areas of health care, child care, education and providing some needed relief to retirees.”

In the final days of the state’s legislative session, the state senate also passed a resolution, led by Senate President Ruggerio with support from House Speaker Shekarchi, to establish a 21-member special legislative commission to study the possible creation of a medical school at URI.

“We support the senate’s resolution forming a special legislative commission, and we look forward to partnering with Senate President Ruggerio, House Speaker Shekarchi, and other elected officials and health care leaders on collective efforts to enhance health and wellness across Rhode Island,” Parlange said. “URI, as Rhode Island’s flagship public research university, is committed to addressing the state’s most pressing needs and to making a positive difference in our communities and in the lives of Rhode Islanders.”