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RIPEC: RI lawmakers took positive economic steps

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council is lauding state lawmakers for their work this year to boost the economy.

The business-back public policy group says the legislative session which ended last month "fundamentally shifted" the state's approach to business development and saw "critical" steps to improve its business climate.

RIPEC's conclusions are contained in a report released Monday.

After vowing to focus on the state's economy this year, lawmakers voted to restructure and rename the state's economic development agency. They also created new commissions to study the economy, and took modest steps to boost workforce training programs.

The RIPEC report says the steps will enhance the role of economic development in state policy decisions and foster a more coordinated approach in the future.