Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist at Rhode Island Hospital.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

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On Politics
3:02 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Chafee, Lawmakers Approve Moderate Budget

The General Assembly has approved the state's $8.7 billion dollar budget.
Credit RIPR

The usual special interest groups are blasting the new state budget approved by the General Assembly. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says maybe lawmakers did  the best they could in tough times.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved an $8.7 billion taxing and spending plan for the financial year that begins July First. This budget has drawn fire from the usual suspects who roam the marble Statehouse corridors lobbying for their causes.

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On Politics
12:46 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Fung moves closer to capturing Republican governor endorsement

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung moved a step closer to capturing the Republican Party’s endorsement for governor, winning support from the RI GOP Nominating Committee at a meeting Thursday evening at party headquarters in Warwick.

Fung won 9 of the 14 votes on the committee, which makes recommendations for next week’s Republican State Convention, which will convene June 26th at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick to make the endorsement. Fung also received the nod of the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee, bringing to 18 the number of city and town GOP committees to back the Cranston mayor.

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On Politics
1:22 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Kerrie Bennett leaving URI for Delta Dental

Kerrie Bennett, director of legislative and government relations for the University of Rhode Island, is leaving to take an executive post at Delta Dental, the dental insurer.

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On Politics
9:42 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Incumbent Mayor Fung, outsider Block play to Republican conservative base

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.

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On Politics
4:05 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

RI Assembly Poised To Hike Minimum Wage To $9 Per Hour

Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

UPDATE: This was approved: Rhode Island’s low-skill minimum wage workers will very likely get a wage increase under legislation that the Rhode Island House is poised to approve before the end of the current legislative session.

The measure would jump the state’s floor wage for workers from the current $8 per hour to $9 on January 1, 2015. Such legislation has been approved by the state Senate and the House Labor Committee and has been posted for action by the full House tomorrow.

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On Politics
5:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Fields leaves New England HUD housing post

Barbara Fields, who was long prominent in Rhode Island affordable housing circles, has resigned her post as New England regional administrator for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Fields, of Providence, has held the job for three years. In a letter to colleagues, she said that she will be exploring ``other avenues.’’

``It has been an incredible three years,’’ Fields wrote in her letter. ``I have had the honor of working with you and representing HUD in the six states of New England.’’

Scott MacKay Commentary
4:18 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Governor Campaign, Democrats as Republicans, Republicans as Democrats

Cranston Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung has already taken shots at fellow republican Ken Block.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island’s modern political history is filled with bitter Democratic primaries for governor. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  says this campaign season it is the Republicans who are bashing each other.

Rhode Island voters have not elected a Democratic governor since 1992, when Bruce Sundlun decisively beat Republican Betty Leonard. There are many factors contributing to this Democratic Statehouse futility.

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On Politics
9:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Few sparks in first televised Democratic governor debate

The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:29 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Finally, Smith Hill And RI Colleges Work Together

Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and the Community College of Rhode Island will not see their tuition increase if the state budget is approved.
Credit RIPR FILE

Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.

After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.

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On Politics
9:10 am
Fri June 6, 2014

URI, RIC, CCRI winners in House budget proposal

After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island,  the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.

In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.

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