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.

Full archives of this blog can be found here.

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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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On Politics
1:59 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Catherine Taylor Joins Race for Lieutenant Governor

Republican Catherine Taylor, who came within a whisker of beating Democrat Ralph Mollis in the 2010 race for secretary of state, has confirmed she's running this year for lieutenant governor.

In a statement, Taylor says she'll step down from her current post as director of the state Division of Elderly Affairs on June 20.

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On Politics
3:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Economic Progress Institute Says Budget Benefits Wealthy, Hurts Poor Rhode Islanders

The liberal-leaning Economic Progress Institute says the budget slated for a House vote Thursday provides $9 million in tax breaks "to the heirs of wealthy estates," while cutting $3.9 million in tax benefits for low to moderate-income Rhode Islanders.

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On Politics
4:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

TGIF: 12 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Welcome back to my Friday column. You know summer isn't far behind when a budget emerges in the General Assembly and gubernatorial candidates increasingly take to the airwaves. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Let's get to it.

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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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On Politics
5:18 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

R.I. House finally Ratifies 17th U.S. Constitutional Amendment: direct election of U.S. senators

At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.

Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.

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On Politics
4:45 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Educators David and Anne Burnham die within hours of each other

Deep sadness today in the Providence educational community: Anne Burnham and her husband David Burnham, have both died within the past two days. Anne died on June 4 and Dave this morning.

Dave Burnham was the legendary longtime headmaster of the Moses Brown School and the  founding president of the Board of Trustees of Paul Cuffee School  in Providence. As headmaster of Moses Brown from 1978 to 1994, Burnham helped usher co-education back to the college prep school on Providence’s East Side. He also was instrumental in increasing the school’s endowment.

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