§ 45-2-3.2. Availability of funds upon failure of city or town to approve annual appropriation.
(a) Unless otherwise provided by a city or town charter, in an emergency caused by a failure of a city or town to approve an annual appropriation measure, the same amounts appropriated in the previous fiscal year shall be available for each department and division thereof, subject to monthly or quarterly allotments, in accordance with seasonal requirements, as determined by the city or town’s chief financial officer; provided, that expenditures for payment of bonded indebtedness of the city or town and interest thereon shall be in such amounts as may be required, regardless of whether or not an annual appropriation ordinance is enacted by the city or town council.
(b) Whenever a state and local emergency is declared pursuant to §§ 30-15-9 and 30-15-12(b) that prevents a city, town, or fire district from approving an annual appropriation measure and tax levy to fund such appropriation in accordance with their city, town, or fire district charter, the city, town, or fire district, notwithstanding any city, town, or fire district charter provision to the contrary, may adopt an annual appropriation and tax levy or take any other action normally required at a financial town meeting or financial town referendum, by the governing body of the city or town through passage of a resolution or ordinance in the following manner:
(1) By continuing the city, town, or fire district’s prior annual fiscal year appropriation measure and aggregate tax levy not exceeding the total levy of the prior fiscal year to support such annual appropriation; provided, that the appropriation and levy shall not extend beyond a city, town, or fire district’s fiscal year as defined by the city, town, or district charter;
(i) Any partial levy adopted for a period of less than one fiscal year shall be credited against the final levy adopted by the city, town, or fire district in accordance with this section or the provisions as set forth in the city, town, or fire district charter.
(ii) If a city or town has conducted a revaluation of property pursuant to § 44-5-11.6, the city or town may use the property values of the most recent revaluation; provided, that the aggregate tax levy does not exceed the total levy of the prior fiscal year.
(2) By the adoption and passage of a new annual appropriation and tax levy by the city, town, or fire district’s governing body; provided, that levy shall be subject to all of the provisions of § 44-5-2.
(c) Prior to the adoption of any appropriation or levy pursuant to subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section or conducting any business normally taken at a financial town meeting or financial town referendum, the governing body of the city, town, or fire district shall conduct a public hearing on the proposal or business to be considered. The public hearing may be conducted in any manner, including electronically or virtually, that enables public comment and participation. Notice of the public hearing shall be given by publication of a display advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the city, town, or fire district and by posting of the notice on the website if available, of the municipality or fire district at least ten (10) days before the date of the public hearing. The notice shall state the date and time of the public hearing and the methods of means of participation whether in person, virtually, and/or by submission of written comments.
(d) The chief executive officer of a city, town, or fire district shall have the power to, by executive order, extend, move, or continue any and all budget adoption procedures, including the date of any financial town meeting or financial town referendum, as set forth in any city, town, or fire district charter, until such time as the declared state or municipal emergency is lifted or expires.
(e) Any tax levy adopted pursuant to subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section shall be subject to all of the provisions of chapter 35 of title 44.
History of Section.
P.L. 2006, ch. 253, § 4; P.L. 2020, ch. 14, § 1; P.L. 2020, ch. 19, § 1.