On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

One week after the resignation of a key lawmaker, House and Senate leaders on Tuesday put their combined support behind a proposal to strengthen the state Ethics Commission and its oversight of the legislature.

Diocese of Providence

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, citing church teachings, has written a column opposing legalization of marijuana.  It is entitled `Nope to Dope.’

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said the General Assembly's process for providing almost $14 million in grants needs to be changed to increase transparency and accountability.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has tapped eight Rhode Island lawyers for judgeships on the Superior, Family, District and Workers’ Comp courts. The names will be submitted to the state Senate this week for confirmation.

Maureen Keough, who has been deputy chief of the criminal division at the attorney general’s office, has been nominated to fill an opening on Superior Court. 

Just another quiet week in Rhode Island, right? 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.

RIPR FILE

Once again, a Rhode Island lawmaker has resigned from his post after announcing a police investigation.  RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts on House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison’s abrupt departure from Smith Hill. 

About 700 unionized Rhode Island Verizon workers involved in a labor dispute with the company have been ruled eligible for unemployment compensation by Scott Jensen, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

In a decision mailed to workers and Verizon officials yesterday, Jensen ruled that the labor dispute is a lockout by the company, rather than a strike. Rhode Island has not allowed strikers to collect unemployment benefits since the 1980s, but workers involved in lockouts are eligible to collect, according to Michael Healey, DLT Spokesman.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The largest union at the Providence Journal protested GateHouse Media's management of the ProJo, by demonstrating outside the newspaper's Fountain Street office, from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.

The picket line drew more than 100, including George Nee, president of the R.I AFL-CIO, Maureen Martin, secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO, and J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94 of AFSCME, the largest state employee union.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello expressed sharp frustration about the circumstances that led House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison to resign Tuesday, while voicing confidence in the House of Representatives and the chamber's ability to revise the state budget without delay.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison is set to resign as a state representative Tuesday as he faces a law enforcement probe, RIPR has learned.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Sen. Edward O'Neill, who announced Monday he is not seeking re-election to the state Senate, tells RIPR he is considering a run for state treasurer in 2018. (He later added that he is also contemplating a run for governor.)

O'Neill staged a major upset when he defeated Joseph Montalbano, then the president of the Senate, in 2008. For most of the time since then, O'Neill has served as the only Independent among 38 senators, although he became a Republican earlier this year and won election as a delegate supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The political season keeps zipping along, with the calendar turning toward May. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s political establishment was rebuked in last week’s presidential primaries as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump coasted to victories. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza used his annual budget address Wednesday to call for more sacrifices that he calls necessary to prevent Rhode Island's capital city from sinking into a worsening financial cycle.

The most immediate hit will come for Providence residents since Elorza proposes a $13 million hike in the city's tax levy.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Donald Trump scored a runaway victory in Rhode Island’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday). Trump won 64 percent of the vote, compared to 24 percent for John Kasich and 10 percent for Ted Cruz. Trump supporters marked the victory at Chapel Grille in Cranston last night.

Pages