Gina Raimondo

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A multi-day hearing to assess the fairness of the state’s proposed pension settlement is scheduled to start Wednesday in Superior Court. Most of the public employees involved in the case have already approved the settlement.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter last month set a timeline for moving ahead with the pension deal. About 65 people with concerns about the settlement have asked to speak in front of the judge.

The so-called fairness hearing is expected to last three to five days. The hearing will begin with expert testimony about each side of the pension case.

The sweat box that is the Rhode Island Statehouse in the summer months may become a thing of the past.

On Tuesday, two Rhode Island House committees will take another close look at Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budgets for Medicaid and the state’s health and human services agency. The Senate heard similar proposals last week.

The hearings offer another opportunity for public testimony and committee members’ questions before the budgets hit the full House and Senate for consideration.

State revenue is up, the Sox are down, and Friday is here. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week-long on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

College of the Holy Cross professor Victor Matheson, a sports economist, says the economic benefits of the PawSox’ proposed Providence ballpark do not justify a large commitment of public dollars. Matheson spoke Wednesday morning during an event sponsored by the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said the increase of more than $140 million in state revenue identified during last Friday's revenue estimating conference should be used "to invest in economic growth and putting people to work." The governor also appears to have joined with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in supporting the elimination of the Taylor Swift tax.

The time for raking snow from the roof has given way to the delights of spring and inevitable complaints about heat and humidity. The General Assembly session is headed to busier times and other big issues are simmering. So thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me comments and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters.

RIPR FILE

A new poll shows that Rhode Islanders expect stronger political leadership over the next few years, although many still feel the state is going in the wrong direction. The poll was commissioned by the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University.

43 percent of respondents say the state is going in the wrong direction. Yet 54 percent expect elected officials to provide strong leadership moving forward.

For Rhode Island’s top problem, 30 percent of respondents cite job opportunities, 19 percent point to taxes, and 14 percent identify corruption.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Tuesday she's unsure if the Pawtucket Red Sox proposal to move to Providence will be decided -- as the team's ownership hopes -- before the end of the General Assembly session.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello cited a message of collaboration as they lent their support Tuesday to a job development-tax credit bill sponsored by state Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick).

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