Rhode Island governor-elect facing daunting list of problems, including massive budget hole

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Gina Raimondo will inherit a daunting list of problems when she is sworn in as Rhode Island's 75th governor: continued high unemployment, a huge projected budget hole, and a pension overhaul that is locked in litigation with billions in savings at stake.

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The 43-year-old Democrat says Rhode Island has to be realistic about its immediate financial problems but also think longer-term about ways to nurse the economy to health.

There are still about 42,000 unemployed in the state, and the 7.6 percent jobless rate remains one of the highest. The fiscal picture is also bleak, with a projected deficit expected to climb above $150 million.

Raimondo says that there are hard decisions to be made but that despite the economic challenges, Rhode Island has to "plant the seeds for growth."