Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets at @IanDon, hosts RIPR’s weekly Political Roundtable, and contributes to the station’s On Politics blog.

He was for many years a regular panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations.

Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

Ways to Connect

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After seven hours of often sharp debate, the House of Representative on Wednesday voted, 52-21, to approve the revised version of Governor Gina Raimondo's plan to fix the state's crumbling infrastructure through new tolls on big trucks. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The revised bill to fix Rhode Island's crumbling bridges through new tolls on big trucks appears head to fast final passage before the end of the week, despite warnings from critics who see the plan as a threat to the state's economy.

On a 14-4 vote, House Finance Committee approved the so-called RhodeWorks bill. Rep. Ray Hull (D-Providence) joined three committee Republicans, Patricia Morgan of West Warwick, Daniel Reilly of Portsmouth, and Anthony Giarrusso of East Greenwich, in opposing the measure.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci was laid to rest Monday. Scores of people turned out for Cianci’s funeral. Cianci died January 28th at age 74.

A one-time political foe who became a close friend of Buddy Cianci, former mayor Joe Palino, delivered Cianci’s eulogy at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Paolino says Cianci showed remarkable resilience in his life.

“Every time he suffered a tragedy, trials, tribulations or tears, he got back up,” said Paolino. “He had the tenacity to go against the establishment when it was necessary. He wanted to define himself.”

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci was eulogized Monday after thousands of admirers visited City Hall over the weekend to pay their respects to the man who led the capital city for a total of more than 20 years.

During the funeral service, former mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr., who served in between the stints known as Buddy I and Buddy II, recalled Cianci as a remarkably skilled politician.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Thousands of admirers of Buddy Cianci streamed to City Hall Saturday and Sunday, during a two-day public wake, to pay their respects to the storied former mayor of Providence.

Rick Simone, a former Cianci aide, estimated that 3,500 people turned out by mid-afternoon Sunday, about the same number that came to see the former mayor lying in respose during six hours on Saturday.

Budget. Truck Tolls. Presidential Politics. It's all going on, so thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her budget, economic development, and the outlook for improving public education in Rhode Island. For a more in-depth Q+A with Raimondo, listen to our Bonus Q+A.

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A to discuss her jobs strategy, truck tolls, charter schools, whether RI should legalize marijuana, Hillary Clinton, and more.

The debate over Governor Gina Raimondo's proposal to use truck tolls to pay for fixing Rhode Island's troubled bridges resumed in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

State DOT director Peter Alviti touted the plan known as RhodeWorks as a way to upgrade bridges, promote safety for drivers, and create jobs.

"As a native Rhode Islander, as a civil engineer, I ask that you approve this plan and allow us to bring the many talents of our Rhode Island workforce to bear in fixing our infrastructure," Alviti said.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo unveiled a $9 billion budget Tuesday night, touting it as a way to grow Rhode Island's economy while making the state more hospitable to business.

Attracting business, boosting the skills of workers, and improving Rhode Island's business climate are expected to be among the focal points of Governor Gina Raimondo's second budget proposal.

The governor will unveil her spending plan at 7 pm Tuesday during the annual State of the State address

The inimitable Buddy Cianci passes from the Rhode Island scene, making waves even after his death. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo reversed course Friday on an earlier decision not to order flags at half-staff in recognition of the death Thursday of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.

Spokeswoman Marie Aberger said Raimondo reflected on her earlier decision and decided to order flags to be lowered at half-staff because "it was the right thing to do, and out of respect for the office that Buddy held for 20 years."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the passing of Buddy Cianci and the fiscal outlooks of the City of Providence and Rhode Island.

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss taxes and tax breaks; how Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has handled the firefighter dispute, and other issues. 

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