RI lawmakers endorse longer name ‘TF Green Airport’

TF Green State’s long-delayed name change is finally ready to take off.

The State House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 63 to 9 to make Rhode Island TF Green International Airport the new name for the airfield initially known as Hillsgrove. The Senate had already adopted its version of the bill.

Since 2018, airport executives have argued that many travelers don’t know where TF Green Airport is, and adding the words “Rhode Island” and “International” to the name would make it easier to market.

But some Rhode Islanders did not like the idea of ​​the airport being “where TF Green was”.

The original “Rhode Island International Airport” proposal was rejected for insensitivity to the late US governor and senator.

Theodore Francis Green in 1948

Thus, the longer Rhode Island TF Green International Airport was proposed, although this idea also faces opposition.

Representative Charlene Lima, Democrat for Cranston and critic of the current airport management, argued that the name should reflect the call letters of the state’s largest city and airport: PVD.

“No airport in a country of over 5,000 airports bears its state’s name and for good reason, good economically sound reason,” Lima said. “It’s going to be a nuisance all over the country.”

Lima also questioned the cost of the name change, which the airport supports. She proposed an amendment that would require the airport to report all costs associated with the name change annually. He was beaten 17-47.

“It’s known as PVD. It’s known as Providence, because Providence is our metropolitan area,” Lima said. “People know Providence. People don’t know Rhode Island. If you go to New York and say ‘where is Rhode Island? “They say” where is it? Long Island? “”

Representative Justine Caldwell, a Democrat from East Greenwich, defended the name change and said requiring the airport to produce additional financial reports on marketing spending would be unnecessary.

“This bill is about economic development and brings Rhode Island to a place where we can truly thrive as tourism returns after the pandemic,” Caldwell said.

Rhode Island Airport Corporation spokesman Bill Fischer said the name change is expected to cost the airport $ 200,000.

The nine “no” votes for the name change included six Democrats and three Republicans.

Unemployment adjustments

In another State House action on Tuesday, the Senate approved a law that would allow Rhode Islanders to earn more while still collecting unemployment benefits. There was no debate. The vote was 35 to 1.

The House is expected to vote on the partial unemployment bill on Wednesday.

A proposal by Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey to fill vacancies in three statewide offices by special election, in lieu of a General Assembly vote, was passed in the unanimity by the Senate.

The change, which would require a constitutional amendment, would organize special elections for the secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer general if the incumbent of one of those positions leaves with more than one year of term. (If the position is open in less than a year, the House and Senate would fill the position through a large committee, as all vacancies at any point in the term are now filled.)

And the Senate passed a bill that would remove the words “Providence Plantations” from state laws. Voters approved a state name change last year, shortening the state’s name to “Rhode Island.”

The House has already passed a different bill for the same purpose.

panderson@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7384

On Twitter: @PatrickAnderso_


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