Scott MacKay's Commentary

Monday 6:35 AM and 8:35 AM

Podcast available HERE.

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 weekly commentator for RIPR on Ocean State politics.  He also sits on the RIPR 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.

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On Politics
3:59 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Regulate Pot Like Booze?

Credit Federal Wildlife Service

A push to legalize marijuana – once again – has returned to the Statehouse.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what has become a perennial issue.

Except for speeding on Rhode Island’s roads, is there a law more frequently scoffed at by citizens than the ban on recreational use of marijuana?
As the General Assembly again tackles the prickly issue of legalizing marijuana, it is well beyond the time for rigorous study of a policy that too often devolves into cliché and anecdotal opinion.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:38 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Will A Rising Economic Tide Lift All Boats?

Misquamicut Beach came back after Superstorm Sandy, can RI's economy come back after the great recession?
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s foundering economic is again the top Statehouse topic. Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts as we at Rhode Island Public Radio kickoff our series on our state’s slow recession recovery. 

If Rhode Island was a lake, we’d all be drowning under the weight of decades of reports and high falutin  expert commissions charged with dissecting our state’s economic doldrums. Wonks, business leaders, academics and consultants have produced turgid chronicles – with scant results – on how to heal the sickest economy in New England.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
1:27 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Myth Of Rhode Island's Generous Programs For The Poor

State spending on programs for the poor is less than in most other state in New England.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island has long been engaged in a debate about government benefits for the poor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our state isn’t as generous as most other New England states on helping those with less.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has heard the complaints for years from conservatives and some elements of the business community:  That Rhode Island’s overly generous social welfare programs handcuff taxpayers and harm the state’s business climate.

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On Politics
2:11 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: The PawSox Baseball Move to Providence: Good or Bad?

McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, the current home of the PawSox
Credit RIPR FILE

The debate over moving the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ball park in Providence is raging. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for serious study, not hyperbole.

Tis the season of renewal: Easter, Passover and daffodils. Along with the longer days comes the return of baseball to New England. It may be hard to believe after our  harsh winter, but in two weeks the season opens at Fenway Park in Boston and at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.

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On Politics
2:08 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time For A Rhode Island Pension Deal

Votes are set to be cast this week for a settlement in the state's pension lawsuit.
Credit RIPR FILE

Once again, Rhode Island politics is ensnared in a public employee pension controversy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to put this issue in our collective rear view mirror.

It’s well past time to get beyond the noisy debate over public employee pensions in Rhode Island. It’s a joust that has ensnared  the Statehouse for more than a generation. It has long pitted the business community against public employees and their union leaders, fractured relations between conservatives and liberals and led to tortuous attempts for years to shore up the system.

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