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

The Republican Policy Group, a group of GOP lawmakers, unveiled an effort Wednesday to reduce wasteful state spending.

They held a Statehouse news conference to tout Waste-O-Meter -- a giant thermometer meant to highlight government waste.

State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) said the Republican Policy Group is looking for the public's help in identifying wasteful spending.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Due to the possibility of a major snow storm this weekend, Governor Gina Raimondo canceled her plan to leave Wednesday night for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The governor said keeping Rhode Islanders safe is her top priority. Spokeswoman Marie Aberger said the decision to scrap the trip was made with "imperfect [weather]information," four days ahead of the storm's expected impact.

RIPR file photo

In the latest move to reduce spending, The Providence Journal is offering a buyout to employees of the statewide newspaper.

Providence Newspaper Guild President John Hill, a reporter, said management told the union it is trying to hit a financial target for reduced spending, although it didn't share that figure with the Guild.

Hill said the standard offer for Journal employees is a lump sum payment for up to 12 weeks pay, although 40-year employees are being offered up to 24 weeks pay.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new report requested by the Raimondo administration says Rhode Island can overcome its economic listlessness by using a focused strategy to make targeted investments in key sectors for job growth.

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. There's lots going on, so we'll get right to it.

North Kingston State Representative Doreen Costa sits down with Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis, and RIPR political commentator Scott MacKay for this Bonus Q+A.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss efforts to reduce gun violence; the high-stakes pursuit of General Electric; and the outlook on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The key sponsor of the bill later used to attract 38 Studios to Rhode Island returned to the Statehouse from his current out-of-state job Thursday evening, distancing himself from responsibility in an hours-long meeting that was rich in theatrics yet thin on fresh details.

Former House Finance Committee chairman Steven Costantino said he set the $125 million size of the job creation guarantee program passed in 2010, and then applied to 38 Studios, with the idea of helping a number of businesses.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RINPR

Boston landed the big prize with the relocation from Connecticut of General Electric, but Governor Gina Raimondo said Wednesday the state is continuing talks with GE about the possibility of bringing other jobs to the Ocean State.

In her first public comments on Rhode Island's pursuit of GE, Raimondo said in a statement, “We worked diligently to recruit GE’s headquarters to Rhode Island -- and we'll remain relentless in our efforts to bring jobs to the state."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo plans to attend the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week as part of her effort to promote Rhode Island while attempting to attract new jobs.

"The governor will participate in a range of policy discussions and meetings with several leading domestic and international business executives to promote Rhode Island as a place fostering innovation and economic opportunity," spokeswoman Marie Aberger said in a statement Wednesday. "The governor will be traveling from January 20-23."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Richard Culatta started on the job this week as Rhode Island's first chief innovation officer. The job represents a homecoming for the 37-year-old South Kingstown native after he most recently worked in senior jobs in the US Department of Education.

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found that Rhode Island’s revolving door law does not apply to former state Rep. Tim Williamson, a part-time lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, and his candidacy for a vacant District Court judicial post.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt says Williamson’s House Judiciary Committee job is not among the government roles covered by the revolving door law.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A study commissioned by the Rhode Island Trucking Association disputes the findings of the state economic study used to build support for Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

The study by the international firm IHS asserts that Raimondo's RhodeWorks plan will generate only $24 million to $37.5 million a year in toll revenue, not the $60 million identified in REMI's state-commissioned study.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A common concern for opponents of Governor Raimondo's truck toll plan is the fear that the tolls could be extended in the future from trucks to cars. Raimondo and legislative leaders say that's unlikely to happen.

Raimondo's office said the governor's original toll plan included a ban on tolling cars. That plan was passed by the state Senate last June, but the measure died after not being taken up in the House.

The General Assembly is back, and the political year kicks into gear. 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.

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