RI State House

Governor McKee Signs Legislation Allowing Newport to Raise Cruise Ship Fees and Pursue Infrastructure Bond

Two new laws sponsored by Rep. Lauren H. Carson and Sen. Dawn Euer promise significant changes for the city of Newport. These laws, signed by Governor Daniel McKee last week, enable the city to raise its cruise ship landing and boarding fees and seek voter approval in November for a $98.5 million bond dedicated to infrastructure improvements.

The bond legislation (2024-H 8086, 2024-S 3092) permits the city to propose to voters an approval of up to $98.5 million in general obligation bonds during the upcoming election. This funding aims to support a range of projects detailed in Newport’s Capital Improvement Plan, including:

  • $6.1 million for road and sidewalk improvements
  • $12 million for Easton’s Beach, including demolition of the carousel and snack bar buildings, and sand replenishment efforts
  • $10 million for the removal of soil from the new Rogers High School construction and remediation of the Harrison Avenue landfill
  • $3.75 million for repairs to Cliff Walk
  • $20 million for replacement of the Perrotti Park bulkhead, Harbormaster building, and other park repairs
  • $5.375 million for Easton’s Ponds
  • $1.375 million for stormwater and engineering projects in the North End

“Our city will benefit tremendously from the projects included in the bond proposal, particularly in terms of increasing the resilience of the infrastructure at some of the places that make Newport the very special place that it is,” commented Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport).

The second piece of legislation (2024-S 3021A, 2024-H 8027A) authorizes Newport to increase its landing and boarding fees for cruise ships. Presently, the city collects $3 per passenger upon landing and again upon embarkation. The new law allows Newport to raise this fee to $10 per passenger, totaling $20 per passenger per visit. The current fee has been in place since 2014.


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