general assembly

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a sharp defeat for fire unions, two bills that would strengthen their hand in dealing with cities and towns on overtime spending are dead in the current legislative session, lawmakers and a top fire union official say.

Legislative committee votes on the two high-profile firefighter overtime bills were canceled Thursday, and neither of the bills is expected to get a vote before lawmakers conclude the session.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who made a trip from the hardscrabble streets of Mount Hope to the pinnacle of political power in Rhode Island, was sentenced Thursday to serve three years in prison after being convicted of bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion.

A contrite Fox intermittently choked up while apologizing to his friends, family and the people of Rhode Island during a sentencing hearing conducted by US District Court Judge Mary Lisi.

RIPR FILE

  Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter, in a decision released Tuesday afternoon, approved the proposed settlement of Rhode Island's pension conflict.

The judge's action clears the way for the General Assembly to approve the pension deal, the last step needed for the settlement to go into effect. Taft-Carter recently held a multi-day hearing during which some current employees and retirees urged her to reject the settlement.

But the judge ruled that the deal meets the necessary legal standard for it to go forward.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Monday made an urgent plea for lawmakers to reject a bill that would create a 42-hour workweek for firefighters, saying it would drive up overtime costs for cities and towns across Rhode Island. But the head of the city firefighters' union disputes the likely impact, and he blames Elorza for causing the standoff over the legislation.

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