general assembly

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Legislative leaders announced Monday the elimination of a grant program that has sparked controversy following the resignation of former House Finance chairman Ray Gallison last month. They also said they're maintaining control of a smaller grant program that critics call overly politicized.

Happy June, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Governor Gina Raimondo remains non-committal on whether she will veto a bill requiring local approval for a controversial power plant in Burrillville.

Raimondo said changing the way projects are approved part way through the siting process could send an anti-business message.

She was referring to a bill, approved Tuesday by a House committee, requiring approval from Burrillville residents for a proposed power plant to move ahead in the town.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. It's Memorial Day weekend, so it's a good time to remember the sacrifices of others. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. This week's column is shorter than usual due to a long day at the office. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and a string of state representatives on Tuesday excoriated a front page Providence Sunday Journal editorial about community service grants that was published last weekend, saying it misrepresented the legislative process and was based on false assumptions.

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found probable cause that Don Lally violated the revolving door provisions of the code of ethics when he accepted a state job less than four months after resigning as a state representative in March 2015.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt called the finding a preliminary step, since Lally -- barring a settlement -- will face a hearing with the Ethics Commission.

Local historian Patrick Conley is defending using an envisioned new state lottery game to help develop a Rhode Island history center in Bristol, although a former state official calls the funding approach misguided and fiscally irresponsible.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

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A Providence lawmaker has withdrawn a bill that would have provided explicit protections for transgender people to use public bathrooms. State Representative Edith Ajello said the state’s current law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity provides enough protection for transgender people. 

Ajello said she came to the conclusion after speaking with local LGBT advocates, and seeing the letter from the Obama Administration directing schools to allow students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers have a little more cash to work with as they consider revisions to the almost $9 billion state budget unveiled by Governor Gina Raimondo in February.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee on Tuesday began four days of hearings on the more than $11 million in community service grants being distributed by the state this year.

Mid-May and the political kettle keeps bubbling. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

One week after the resignation of a key lawmaker, House and Senate leaders on Tuesday put their combined support behind a proposal to strengthen the state Ethics Commission and its oversight of the legislature.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said the General Assembly's process for providing almost $14 million in grants needs to be changed to increase transparency and accountability.

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