Democrat Todd Giroux, a Bristol contractor who ran for governor as an independent four years ago, says his solution to the Rhode Island jobs crisis is to make more money available to residents.
And he says he knows where to get it.
"It's not about social issues, it's about investment in Rhode Island," Giroux told NBC 10 on Wednesday.
Investing, he said, by making it easier to start a business. He wants to not charge the $500 corporate tax for new businesses.
He said Rhode Island has money it should access: appropriate some of the invested pension fund to create pools of money for Rhode Island individuals and businesses to borrow.
"We are fortunate to have over $7 billion. We need to take some of that money off the table before it evaporates," Giroux said.
He said thousands of unemployed Rhode Islanders could be put back to work.
"I would estimate that we could put 40,000 people back to work in Rhode Island in a short amount of time if we truly invest in the small businesses and property owners of the state," Giroux said.
"We have this reserve pulled out of the stock market as cash money. We need a refurbished hurricane barrier. We need to take a look at that in the coming years. We still need bridges painted on Interstate 95," Giroux said.
"We don't need to borrow for the future. We don't need those bond referendums. It's a real strong way to say, 'Let's take back those words, hope and change,'" Giroux said.
He is optimistic and believes the state is in just the right place to turn things around.
"We're right between New York and Boston. We have thriving industries in this state that are poised to grow. I'm focused on the people who have already invested their homes, their lives, their businesses in the state," Giroux said.
Giroux has declared his candidacy and started raising money. His official kickoff for the governor's race will be later this month.