general assembly

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss how the legislative session ended with an impasse between the House and the Senate; whether the Senate will return for a special session; and the outlook for Governor Raimondo's truck-toll plan.

Welcome to July and a brief respite from politics. Happy Fourth of July to all my readers, and thanks for stopping by. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome, and you find follow me through the week on the twitters. A quick program note: I'm embarking on summer vacation, so TGIF will be on hiatus until July 24.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin

Rhode Island’s Attorney General has issued guidance for law enforcement after the expiration of the Good Samaritan law. The law was created to protect people from drug charges if they call 911 about a drug overdose; it expired July 1st after lawmakers took no action to extend it before adjourning for the summer.

Never a dull moment around here, as the 2015 General Assembly session screeched to a dramatic close this week. Thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you follow me through the week on the Twitters. Here we go.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The General Assembly session came to a very abrupt end Thursday due to an impasse between the House and Senate. After starting their legislative year in January, lawmakers will now be called back in the fall to tackle one or two major issues. Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis spoke with host Dave Fallon, about this session's highs and lows.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org 

State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the state budget, future of the PawSox, competing approaches to tax benefits in the I-195 development district, the state Ethics Commission and other issues.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss how the House didn't vote for Governor Raimondo's truck-toll plan; the impact of new legislation on charter schools; and the Cranston bridge closing controversy.

The General Assembly ended its regular session Thursday night without approving Governor Gina Raimondo's plan to use tolls on trucks to pay for bridge improvements. The last night of the session was punctuated by a dispute that led senators to leave their chamber as the House was still meeting, and resulted in a series of bills slated for votes going by the wayside.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) doesn't expect the House to vote on Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll proposal before lawmakers recess for summer this week.

Newberry points to remarks by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who has shown little enthusiasm for a vote this week, due to his lingering concerns on the impact on business of the governor's ambitious infrastructure plan.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he wants the State Police or state Department of Transportation to investigate why problems that led to the closure Tuesday of Cranston's Park Avenue Bridge were not discovered when the bridge was inspected last September. The state Senate, meanwhile, approved Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll plan, while the proposal's outlook in the House remains uncertain.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo continued to press Monday for the General Assembly to approve her plan to pay for bridge improvements through new tolls on trucks, although the person with the most impact on the outcome -- House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello -- said he remains undecided.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are expected to wrap up the regular part of their 2015 session later this week. It remains unknown for now if legislators will return to hold a special session later this year.Governor Gina Raimondo is pressing lawmakers to back a plan to fund bridge improvements through new tolls on truck.

The state Trucking Association opposes the plan.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Majority Whip Jay Edwards (D-Tiverton) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the budget passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives; the way forward on curbing fire service costs; and the outlook for Governor Raimondo's truck-toll proposal.

House Majority Whip Jay Edwards (D-Tiverton) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the House budget; whether lawmakers should investigate 38 Studios; the criteria for considering a Providence ballpark; and much more.

On a 6 to 3 vote, the Senate Education Committee passed a bill Wednesday restricting the growth of charter schools.

The legislation sponsored by Senator Adam Satchell (D-West Warwick) requires city or town councils in a host community to approve new charter schools. The bill would also keep charter school funding at the current level until the state adopts a new formula for funding charter and traditional public schools.

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