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/File Photo / RIPR

State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) joins Political Roundtable this week, along with guest panelist Tim White from WPRI-TV, to discuss the outlook on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan; new findings about the state Department of Children, Youth and Families; and ongoing problems in Coventry's fire districts.

State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick), deputy minority leader in the House, stopped by our studio to talk about a variety of issues facing the state.

Courtesy of Chris Torres

Rhode Island Working Families, the new progressive/labor advocacy group, has hired Chris Torres, an experienced organizer with past Ocean State experience, as its state director. Torres is slated to formally start his new job November 15.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Thursday that a newly released impact study on her truck toll plan shows that the proposal will help Rhode Island’s economy.

The study by Regional Economic Models predicts the toll plan could boost the state’s gross domestic product by $538 million. The study also predicts the governor’s toll proposal will create a net increase of more than 6,000 jobs.

In a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s digesting the impact study.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A half-dozen Republican lawmakers unveiled a proposal Wednesday to steer $875 million to improving Rhode Island's decrepit bridges over 10 years without imposing tolls on trucks and without the borrowing costs in a competing plan backed by Governor Gina Raimondo.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A coalition of five advocacy groups wants Rhode Island lawmakers to declare whether or not they support thorough legislative hearings and an outside investigation to document what went wrong with 38 Studios.

A new poll shows that 76 percent of respondents think the state spends too little to maintain roads and bridges. A narrow majority supports Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan for improving infrastructure.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teny Gross moved to Rhode Island in 2001 to lead a new organization dedicated to reducing violence in Providence. Fourteen years later, Gross will work his last day Friday at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. The 49-year-old Israeli native is leaving to start a new nonviolence group in Chicago, although Gross says he’ll continue to spend some time in Rhode Island. He sat down to reflect on his time leading the institute and efforts to reduce violence in Rhode Island.

Hurricane Joaquin blows toward Rhode Island as the state remains vexed by its own ring of challenges: the hangover of 38 Studios, trying to modernize state agencies, financially troubled fire districts, you name it. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Phil West, the longtime former director of Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about fallout from 38 Studios, the fight for better government, criminal-justice reform, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime former Common Cause of Rhode Island head Phil West joins Political Roundtable to discuss the fallout from the release of thousands of pages of 38 Studios court documents.

After being a part of efforts to reduce violence in Providence for 15 years, Teny Gross says it’s time to take on a new challenge.

Gross established and led the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence after being recruited from Boston. The organization has been credited with helping reduce bloodshed in poor city neighborhoods. Gross helped create the institute's non-violence education model, including the "street worker" program, which sends former offenders back onto the streets to mediate conflicts and help prevent violence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is negotiating a possible consent decree with the US Justice Department due to environmental damage caused by years of inadequately monitored runoff on highways around the state.


A former House Finance chairman is downplaying his role in the loan program used to lure 38 Studios to Rhode Island in 2010. Steve Costantino now serves as a publicly funded health insurance program in Vermont.

Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee said Monday he's looking forward to taking part in debate being staged by October 13 in Las Vegas.

"I look forward to joining the other distinguished Democratic candidates CNN has invited to debate the issues on October 13th," Chafee said in a statement. "I know from my previous campaigns that voters highly value the chance to assess the candidates in a debate format."

Chafee has attracted barely any support since he announced his campaign in April.