Cup o’ (Pro) Jo: March 9, 2011

Governor Chafee announced $157 million in new taxes in his budget address to the General Assembly last night. While there will be increased taxes imposed on cab fare, movie tickets and concert tickets, Chafee also proposed increasing funding for public state universities and cutting down the state sales tax from 7 to 6 percent. Some previously untaxed items, like textbooks, will be taxed under the new budget. Chafee said he hopes to attract more people to shop in the state with the lower sales tax, which would be lower than that of  Massachusetts and Connecticut.

In case you did not know, today is Ash Wednesday, the day that follows Mardi Gras and marks the first day of Lent for Catholics.

A lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday that he plans to bring Cranston High School West to court for their retention of a prayer banner in its hallway. The banner, written in 1960 by a former student, has hung in the school since 1963. Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Affiliate of the ACLU, said the school has had eight months to resolve this without resorting to legal means. Brown said while people are free to practice religion in their home or place of worship, public schools are not an appropriate place to “propagate those beliefs.”

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