The House Labor Committee is slated to review a bill Tuesday that could increase the use of apprentices on state public works contracts. But critics say that mandating more work by apprentices could increase costs for municipal and state projects.

A union-backed bill sponsored by Providence Representative John Carnevale would require companies bidding on public projects worth more than $1 million to have an apprenticeship program. The legislation would apply only to contractors and subcontractors with five or more employees.

The Quonset Business Park welcomes ships carrying Honda vehicles to the Port of Davisville Monday. This is the first time Honda has shipped products to Rhode Island shores.  Quonset Development Corporation spokesman David Preston says he hopes the addition of Honda will help to build economic growth in Rhode Island.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her plan meant to add manufacturing jobs; high-stakes testing; tax policy; the slow start to redeveloping former I-195 land; and other issues.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday unveiled a plan to help provide unemployed Rhode Islanders with the skills needed to find jobs. 

Taveras says even though tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders are out of work, Rhode Island lacks a comprehensive job training program. If elected governor, he says he’d implement an initiative so that unemployed residents obtain the right skills through CCRI to get hired.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Bruce Lane, president-elect of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. They discuss rising home prices in the state, the impact this bad winter has had on home sales and how the housing market affects the local economy.



When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

The Bottom Line: What Will It Take To Pump Life Into RI's Economy?

Mar 3, 2014

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Chuck Hinman fills in for Dave, he and Mark talk with Dean of Providence College's School of Business, Dr. Sylvia Maxfield. They discuss efforts to pump life into the state's economy, such as the Make It Happen project, and what needs to be done to improve Rhode Island's business climate.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block announced his “Block Plan” to “fix Rhode Island,” should he be elected governor.

Block outlined a series of major tax reforms he would pursue, including reducing the corporate sales tax from 9 percent to 7 percent.  That would make it the lowest in New England.

He also called for eliminating a $500 minimum tax for new businesses. Block said the current tax policy makes Rhode Island an uninviting place for businesses and entrepreneurs.

New Life For The 'Superman' Building?

Feb 11, 2014

There may be new hope for the tallest building in Rhode Island.  But efforts to rehab the so-called Superman building, in downtown Providence, failed just last year.

The 26 story building, built in 1928 went dark in April of last year, when its tenants, Bank of America, moved out. The owner, Massachusetts-based High Rock Development, proposed a plan to turn the office space into residences.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark pour over the latest PBN survey of local businesses. PBN has been conducting the survey since 2008, and this one is more optimistic than in years past: it finds more businesses expect to hire in the coming year and capital investment is up.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Second District Congressman Jim Langevin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss President Obama's State of the Union address; Clay Pell's entry in the Democratic primary for governor; and his re-election battle with Republican Rhue Reis. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In the governor's race Republicans are responding to Democratic proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage.

It’s an issue that’s dividing candidates along party lines.

Providence Mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras was the first to give specifics about a plan to hike the minimum wage.

He’s proposing a two-dollar ten cent increase over the next four years; from eight dollars to ten-dollars ten cents by 2018.

Fellow Democratic candidate for governor, and state treasurer Gina Raimondo wants to see the same increase, but by 2015.


Political and business leaders are meeting in a couple events Tuesday looking at how to rev up the state’s economy.

The first event is a roundtable centered on the national issues, such as patents, facing the state’s innovation industry, and how this industry can help boost Rhode Island’s struggling economy.

Both Senator Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will attend the roundtable, along with Congressman David Cicilline.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says home sales were down eleven percent in the state during during November as compared to 2012.

The Realtors' Association says the decline in sales was the most significant lull in the past thirty months.

They say sales were likely down thanks in part to the federal government shutdown in October, and rising interest rates.

However, the median home price in Rhode Island was up three percent at $201,000.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed sat down prior to the start of the new General Assembly session to discuss top issues facing the state, including the economy; the growing cost of paying back investors in 38 Studios, Sakonnet River Bridge tolls, voter ID, and more.

File photo / RIPR

The Political Roundtable crew looks back at the top political stories of the year, including the race governor; the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island; the Ocean State's persistently high unemployment; and the emerging legacy of Lincoln Chafee.