At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.
Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.
Sen. Jack Reed is calling on Congress to address the systemic challenges plaguing the VA healthcare system.
Reed made the statement just hours after Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid a growing cover up of long wait times for healthcare. Reed said the next secretary needs to start the job with a top to bottom review of what’s causing the backlog.
Rhode Island has received more than $2.7 million to clean up contaminated properties in Pawtucket, Providence, and Westerly.
Senator Jack Reed says these federal grants awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program will help local governments protect public health and redevelop former industrial sites for better use. Reed says it’ll also benefit the economy by creating jobs and increasing the value of surrounding properties.
The Democratic primary election for governor is shaping up as a close contest between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
The early Channel 12/ProJo public opinion surveys conducted by veteran Rhode Island pollster Joe Fleming show this to be the case. Now comes last night’s endorsement confab held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick by the R.I. Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs, which failed to reach consensus on an endorsement for governor.
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Jack Reed joined by Senators Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren outlined legislation Wednesday that curbs student loan debt.
The bill allows federal and private student loans to be refinanced at a lower rate with no refinancing fees. The interest on some loans can reach 14 percent. The bill lowers that to 3.86 percent. Reed said the bill is critical to the country’s future.
General Dynamics has landed a $17.6 billion Navy contract to build submarines. The Virginia-class subs will be built at Electric Boat in Quonset Point. General Dynamics spokesman Bob Hamilton said this contract involves ten submarines, starting construction over the next five years at a rate of two per year.
Raymond McKay’s Republican U.S. Senate candidacy seems to depend on his legal battle with Warwick city officials over whether he should be allowed to keep his city job while he runs for office.
Local media outlets have much of McKay’s alleged ``right’’ to run for any office he chooses. Steve Brown of the R.I. Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Providence Journal that the Warwick city ordinance that bars classified municipal employees from running for office is ``overly broad’’ and too restrictive.