As we have reached the unofficial end of summer, Rhode Islanders will be called upon to begin focusing on the upcoming general election in November. It has been my privilege to serve residents of State Senate District 11 (Portsmouth/Tiverton/Bristol) for the last 4 years and I will humbly ask for your vote again this November. While there will certainly be a substantial number of candidate forums covered in the media, I would like to take this opportunity to give a small snap-shot of my vision for another 2 year term if I am fortunate enough to win.
While everyone agrees that economic growth and business climate are at the top of Rhode Island’s things to do list, I would like to stress some focused points.
*Maintaining and building our numbers of businesses and therefore our number of jobs will depend on further efficient trimming of onerous regulations. We made some moves in the right direction this session with reduction of the corporate tax but much more needs to be done.
*I will continue to work on the Health & Human Services Committee and Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight to assist with guiding our state through times of tremendous change in healthcare. How efficiently we manage this issue affects not only our small businesses and private business climate but has huge impacts on our public pensions. The quality of benefits and the cost of those benefits we offer to our working families and retired workers will be a major driver in our economic climate.
*Making RI a better place to live and retire is critical. We cannot afford to have our retired citizens be forced out of the state by difficult tax burdens. We made some progress this year by lowering the estate tax to make us more competitive with our region. I am honored to serve on the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Senator Felag, and it will be my priority to work towards reducing/eliminating income tax on military pensions. This would keep many more retired veterans in our state and would add to our economy. I would also like to see incentives placed for Veteran Owned businesses that may attract more of these to our state.
*Any economic growth must start with keeping our talented young graduates in our state. In the last 2 years, I have been encourage by the emphasis placed by leadership in classroom-to-job programs. We now have programs in place for highschool seniors to take college classes and begin work on their degrees. Collaboration between employers and trade schools is increasing as a part of the “Moving the Needle” initiatives that came out of the Senate. So much more needs to be done and I would like to seen more state investment in this area.
* Our attention must not waiver from the defense industry which dominates our local economy. As a member of the Defense Economy Planning Commission which is chaired by Senator DiPalma, I will continue to focus on making sure that we are as prepared as we can be for upcoming assessments regarding defense staffing. We must not loose current presence that the military has in our area and we should be planning how to bring more military assignments here.
* I was proud to sponsor legislation this year which is helping to make the process by which physicians prescribe medications safer for all Rhode Islanders. As a physician myself, I am committed to lending whatever professional information I can to the function of our state government.
These are just a few of the items that I would like to emphasize. As I ask for your vote again in November, I promise to continue the frequent office hours that I have held year round. I have always said that you should not only hear from or see your elected officials at election time and I have done my best to deliver on that.
Christopher Ottiano MD State Senate District 11 864-7456
“I take my oath of public office as seriously as my Hippocratic oath”
- Member of Senate Health and Human Services Committee
- Member of Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee
- Member of Defense Economy Planning Commission
- Member of the Committee on Healthcare Oversight
- Sponsored legislation for Ombudsperson position for developmentally disabled community
- Sponsored legislation strenthening narcotics prescription laws
- Received leadership award from RI State Nurses Association
- Helped craft statewide infrastructure legislation which “Eliminated The Bridge Toll“
- Lifelong Rhode Islander
- Graduate of St. George’s School 1987
- Gradute of Tufts Medical School
- Member of American Board of Surgery
- Local Physician: Member of RI Medical Society
- On Staff at Newport and South County Hospitals
- Member of Board of Directors at People’s Credit Union
- Experienced Small Business Person