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

Economic IndicatorsAssociated 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.

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.

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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."