PROVIDENCE, R.I., — In an exclusive Raymond Baccari Political Profile, Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos weighed in on a variety of topics which included her current priorities as Lieutenant Governor. Matos also outlines her areas of focus for the 2022 re-election bid, and what her time was like as a student at Rhode Island College.
Matos’ predecessor, Governor Dan McKee, was a big advocate for small businesses when he was Lieutenant Governor. Matos follows a similar vision as she states, “We continue to have frequent communication with the small business community. We continue to have our town hall conversation every week on Tuesdays at noon [and bringing in] the directors of different state departments to address the concerns of the business community directly. Also, we are bringing back the Small Business Advisory Coalition. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback [and] information from past and current members of the coalition, and I’m looking forward to implementing many of their suggestions that have been brought to me.”
Like McKee, she is also in favor of charter schools, saying, “I have been a supporter of charter schools, I believe charter schools are part of the solution. I don’t think they are the only solution. But I can tell you as a mother of kids that went to charter schools, I really appreciate the opportunity and options that [are] presented for the families.”
Aside from continuing McKee’s vision for small businesses and charter schools, Matos said that housing will be a big priority of hers in her 2022 re-election bid looking to achieve and sustain functional zero.
The office itself has an interesting history. Robert Healey, an attorney, perennial candidate and founder of the Rhode Island Cool Moose Party, ran for this office with the sole promise of closing the office once elected. He cited that it has no duties other than waiting for the Governor to be unable to serve. The $1 million a year budget for the office has made some Republicans like the Rhode Island Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias make their case for it to be closed down to save the state money.
She said, “I think that this year, it was proven that we need to have the office. Going back to [when] Governor Raimondo [was] being appointed as [U.S.] Secretary of Commerce, this is why we have the office. The Lieutenant Governor steps in and fulfills the role of the Governor.”
Matos continued, “This is very important to make sure there is a stability in government in the state of Rhode Island. There is a lot of work that we are doing and there is a lot of work that can be done in this office. I think this office is needed and we should continue to have the office.”
Matos is also a RIC alumni, having received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2001. Reflecting on her time as a RIC student, she said, “When I joined RIC, I had been in the country for almost two and a half to three years. If you talk to some of my classmates that met me back then, I was really shy. I used to come [to campus], take my classes, [and] go back home. But I made some great friends while I was at RIC.”
Matos continued, “It’s so close to us here in Rhode Island, especially for me living in Providence. It’s a great option and whenever I have the opportunity to tell anyone who asks I say, you should go to RIC, it’s a good school and a good option.”
Additionally, Matos also spoke with Baccari about non-political topics such as what she thinks Rhode Island is best known for.
To view the full interview, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgTQcykr7S8.