general assembly

On Politics
4:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

House Speaker Mattiello Claims Improvement on RI's Business Climate

House Speaker Nicholas Matiello
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.

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On Politics
1:05 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Happy Independence Day! Thanks for stopping by for my Friday column. Feel free to share your tips via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Without further ado, and with a lot more political fireworks on the way, let's get going.

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Political Roundtable
8:32 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Bonus Q+A: RI ACLU Director Steve Brown On Supreme Court And RI General Assembly

The US Supreme Court made two high-profile decisions this week, and civil liberties again made for a hotly debate subject at the General Assembly this year. The head of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steve Brown, stopped by our studios to discuss those and other issues.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Political Roundtable: Brown on Civil Liberties, the General Assembly, and the Hobby Lobby Decision

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Steve Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss a new law instituting harsher sentences for gang-related crime; the 2014 session of the General Assembly; the US Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision; and why the ACLU opposes the convening of a constitutional convention.

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On Politics
5:15 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Mattiello: Cianci's Effect on RI's Image is For Voters to Decide

Mattiello at the rostrum during the 2014 House session.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.

"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.

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On Politics
8:25 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Who's Coming & Who's Going at the General Assembly

Here's my ongoing look at legislators who have decided to leave the General Assembly -- and the candidates trying to make their way into the 113-seat legislature. (You can email me tips and news releases at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org). As it stands, the General Assembly consists of 101 Democrats, 11 Republicans, and 1 independent. (UPDATE: A lot of stuff happening Wednesday, but I'll continue updating this list as time permits today and perhaps tomorrow).

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The Pulse
4:21 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Debrief: New Health Laws Address Addiction, Breast Cancer

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

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Politics
12:16 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Several Veterans Bills Make It Through The RI General Assembly

Credit file / RIPR

Several veteran-related bills made it through the General Assembly and are on their way to the governor’s desk. One of those bills gives disabled veterans waivers for classes at state colleges and universities.

Another bill lets honorably discharged veterans and National Guard reservists transfer skills they’ve learned during their service to fulfill requirements for trade apprenticeships.

Lawmakers also passed a resolution urging employers to give veterans who work for them time off on Veteran’s Day.

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Economy
9:20 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Advocates Applaud Legislation Protecting Tenants After Foreclosures

Thanks to legislation that passed the General Assembly, banks in Rhode Island will not be able to evict renters in properties they’ve foreclosed on. That is, unless there’s just cause or until the property has been bought by a new owner. Rhode Island Coalition for the homeless head Jim Ryczek said the new law will protect people who might otherwise have nowhere to go.

“When the economy tanked in 2007-2008, the shelter system saw more than a 300 percent rise in the number of people coming in and naming eviction as one of the issues that caused them to be homeless.”

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On Politics
11:22 am
Sat June 21, 2014

The General Assembly Passes Newport Casino Plan, Calls It A Wrap for 2014

Warwick Representative Joseph McNamara calls for the elimination of high-stakes testing as a graduation requirement.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a marathon session that stretched for almost 12 hours before ending shortly after 4 am, the General Assembly closed its 2014 session by approving a plan that could turn Newport Grand into a casino, imposing a three-year moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement,  and setting the stage for Governor Lincoln Chafee to sign a bill making calamari Rhode Island's official state appetizer.

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