general assembly

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo unveiled a $9 billion budget Tuesday night, touting it as a way to grow Rhode Island's economy while making the state more hospitable to business.

Attracting business, boosting the skills of workers, and improving Rhode Island's business climate are expected to be among the focal points of Governor Gina Raimondo's second budget proposal.

The governor will unveil her spending plan at 7 pm Tuesday during the annual State of the State address

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A revised truck toll bill is expected to be introduced in the General Assembly Thursday.

House Majority Leader John DeSimone is expected to introduce the bill in the House, while Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio will sponsor the bill in the Senate.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signaled his support for hundreds of million dollars fewer borrowing than contained in the original proposal unveiled last year by Governor Gina Raimondo.

Jake Bissaro / The Providence Center

State lawmakers gathered for the signing of the newly reinstated Good Samaritan Overdose Law. The law expired last summer, much to the chagrin of public health advocates.

The law protects people who call 911 for someone who's overdosing from being arrested.

Going forward the law will protect people from being charged for drug possession or use, and from being picked up for violating probation.

Lawmakers put an expiration date on the original bill passed in 2012 in case it conflicted with law enforcement.

Winter is here in earnest, with weekend snow, and the political beat is revving at full throttle. Thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and feedback are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Rep. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick), and the chairman of the House Labor Committee, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about a series of legislative issues, including ethics, tolls, incentives, and firefighter overtime.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new report requested by the Raimondo administration says Rhode Island can overcome its economic listlessness by using a focused strategy to make targeted investments in key sectors for job growth.

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. There's lots going on, so we'll get right to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss efforts to reduce gun violence; the high-stakes pursuit of General Electric; and the outlook on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The key sponsor of the bill later used to attract 38 Studios to Rhode Island returned to the Statehouse from his current out-of-state job Thursday evening, distancing himself from responsibility in an hours-long meeting that was rich in theatrics yet thin on fresh details.

Former House Finance Committee chairman Steven Costantino said he set the $125 million size of the job creation guarantee program passed in 2010, and then applied to 38 Studios, with the idea of helping a number of businesses.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new General Assembly session is underway, and already the House and Senate are casting votes on critical issues. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay has been checking in with leaders in both bodies to find out what their health care legislation priorities are. 

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found that Rhode Island’s revolving door law does not apply to former state Rep. Tim Williamson, a part-time lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, and his candidacy for a vacant District Court judicial post.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt says Williamson’s House Judiciary Committee job is not among the government roles covered by the revolving door law.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A study commissioned by the Rhode Island Trucking Association disputes the findings of the state economic study used to build support for Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

The study by the international firm IHS asserts that Raimondo's RhodeWorks plan will generate only $24 million to $37.5 million a year in toll revenue, not the $60 million identified in REMI's state-commissioned study.

The General Assembly is back, and the political year kicks into gear. 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.

Republican John Pagliarini -- the winner of Tuesday's special election in state Senate District 11 -- and Democratic rival Jim Seveney say opposition to Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll proposal was a significant factor in the race.

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