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.
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.
The terms for a possible Newport casino was among the issues still awaiting General Assembly action on what is expected to be the last day of its session Friday. The House ended its session Thursday night to allow more time for closed-door negotiations between legislative leaders.
There won't be a Rhode Island Democratic Party in this year's hard-fought primary between Gina Raimondo, Angel Taveras, and Clay Pell.
In a note to Democratic state reps yesterday, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello writes, "In preparation for the Rhode Island Democratic Party's Endorsement Meeting on Sunday night, I wanted to inform you that the three major candidates for Governor have agreed to a 'no endorsement' from the party."
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is applauding plans by state police to speak with lawmakers about a 2010 vote that set the stage for 38 Studios to come to Rhode Island. A Job Creation Guaranty Program approved by the legislature was later used to channel $75 million to the ill-fated video game company.
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.
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.
Welcome back to my Friday column. The news keeps coming fast and furious, from near and far, although the local pace is bound to include just a few more leisure moments with the approach of summer. Feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
A House vote in favor of a new $8.7 billion budget early Friday was dominated by debate about 38 Studios. The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $12.3 million dollars to continue paying back investors in the failed video game company.
Budget articles passed with lopsided margins and mostly no back and forth. Yet an attempt to establish an independent prosecutor to examine how the state bungled into 38 Studios sparked sharp exchanges. Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate) argued in favor of the outside probe.