Scott MacKay Commentary
10:44 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Time to change our attitude in RI

Another week passes with the usual talk from the Rhode Island political and business elite on economic development. RIPR political  analyst Scott MacKay says its time for some changes in the way Rhode Islanders view our state and ourselves.

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12:18 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Higher ed in RI will research policies to jump-start economy

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Ten Rhode Island colleges and universities are teaming up to help the state out of its economic doldrums.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has announced the formation of the “Rhode Island Higher Education Research Collaborative.”  Its mission: to provide nonpartisan data that will help state leaders develop sustainable economic policies.

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9:26 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Report looks at RI business climate

(PROVIDENCE, RI) A report examining why Rhode Island’s business climate ranks poorly in national surveys is slated to be released Tuesday.

Rhode Island has repeatedly placed near the bottom in some national surveys on the business friendliness of different states. The new study – entitled “Moving the Needle” – was produced by the state Senate and the business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

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11:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

General Assembly outlines priorities

(PROVIDENCE, RI) House Speaker Gordon Fox says the time has come for the state Senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

Fox, who is openly gay, was joined by his partner as he received the oath of office Tuesday for another term as House speaker.

Fox says Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed hasn’t given him any assurances about the fate of same-sex marriage bill. He says he hopes this is the year for the legislation to move forward.

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RI Economy
9:48 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Pay raise for RI minimum wage workers

Minimum wage workers in Rhode Island are getting a pay raise Tuesday. The state’s minimum wage is going up for the first time in five years.

Legislation raising the minimum wage in Rhode Island goes back to 1956, when it was $0.90 an hour. State labor numbers find about 10,000 Rhode Islanders earn the minimum wage, and will get a bump in their next pay check. Sydonia  Lary works two hourly wage jobs in Providence. She’s pleased the state’s minimum wage is going up.

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9:33 am
Mon December 31, 2012

RI housing market rebounds

There is some good news for Rhode Island’s housing market.  The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reports that single family home sales increased by 43% last month as compared to a year ago.  The median price of 195-thousand-dollars is 1% higher than November 2011.  
November’s numbers also show an even balance between the supply of houses for sale and the number of potential buyers according to the RIAR.  

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9:35 am
Mon December 24, 2012

2012 News Countdown: Providence finances

Providence City Hall
Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – Once again, it was a busy year in the Ocean State, and Rhode Island Public Radio's counting down the top ten news stories of 2012. At number 10 is Providence's finances.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he was taken by surprise by the discovery of a category 5 fiscal storm when he took office in January 2011. Taveras has been able to wipe out most of a 110 million dollar deficit in the almost two years since then.

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10:22 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Local study finds 500% increase in homeless sleeping outside

PROVIDENCE, RI – The state's latest homeless census shows a sharp uptick in the number of people living outdoors. It's a consequence of the overcrowded state of shelters.

When the federal government conducted a census of Rhode Island's homeless population at the start of the year it found 28 people living outdoors statewide. A census conducted last week by local volunteers shows the number has more than quintupled to 146.

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8:15 am
Wed December 19, 2012

State ordered into mediation over pension reform lawsuit

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered the two sides in Rhode Island's pension case to try to settle their differences through mediation. A series of unions are challenging last year's landmark overhaul of the pension system. Five public sector unions are suing the state, arguing that it went too far in cutting retirement benefits.

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8:34 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Good news for state's budget

State Capitol
Photo: RIPR file

PROVIDENCE, RI – A larger than expected surplus means that Rhode Island's deficit for the next fiscal year is about half of what it was expected to be. A presentation at a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday shows the state to be on track for a 47 million dollar surplus in the current fiscal year.

Thanks to that surplus, the budget hole for the fiscal year starting July first is now put at 70 million dollars. That's roughly half of what was previously expected.

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