Lincoln Chafee

Scott MacKay Commentary
3:35 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: More At URI Than Meets The Eye

University of Rhode Island's North Kingstown Campus
Credit RIPR FILE

Colleges, even state colleges, are too expensive and beyond the financial reach of some students. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst  Scott MacKay on why college is still a great investment, both for taxpayers and students.

Fast upon us 'tis season of Lilacs, caps and gowns and those desultory commencement speeches about life being a journey. For too many seniors these days, the sheepskin comes with an avalanche of student loan debt.

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On Politics
4:20 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

RI Unemployment Rate Dips

Rhode Island's unemployment dipped in March, but it continues to have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down to 8.7 percent in March, an improvement, but evidence that the state trails the region and most of the nation in economic activity.

The state Department of Labor and Training reports that new data shows the seasonally adjusted rate declined from 9 percent in February and is now at the lowest rate since September, 2008.

The number of Rhode Islanders who were working increased to 506,000 in March, a hike of 2,700 from February  statistics.

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On Politics
2:01 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Mediation Over; Pension Dispute Headed to Trial in September

Rhode Island's multi-billion dollar pension dispute appears headed to a September 15 trial date in Superior Court after a breakdown in attempts to resolve the conflict through mediation.

Each side blamed the other for the impasse following more than a year of talks.

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RI News
3:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

State Employee Unions Agree On Tentative New Contract

Unions representing nearly all state workers have tentatively agreed to a new contract.

The unions representing every state worker except correctional officers and state police have agreed to a contract that increases wages by six percent over four years and increases health care deductibles and co-pays.

State employees have gone nearly three years without a raise.

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Pension Overhaul
9:09 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Republican Party Wants Pension Dispute Settled In Court

The Rhode Island Republican Party is backing up the GOP’s two gubernatorial candidates in saying that the state pension dispute should be resolved in court.  Two of the state’s leading Democrats still support the push for a settlement between the two sides

A proposed pension settlement unveiled in February was cast in doubt Monday when one of six groups that have to offer initial approval rejected the deal. State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said he agrees with his party’s gubernatorial candidates that the pension conflict should be decided in court.

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On Politics
12:26 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Chafee Says He's Still Hopeful on Pension Settlement

Chafee announcing the proposed pension settlement on February 14.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he remains hopeful the proposed state pension settlement can be salvaged, possibly by leaving out the police group that was the only one of six in an initial round of voting to reject the deal.

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RI News
11:51 am
Tue April 8, 2014

RI To Become National Leader Getting Developmentally Disabled Into Jobs

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eve Hill and US Attorney Peter Neronha announce a plan to get developmentally disabled into jobs.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Federal investigators said an agreement announced Tuesday will make Rhode Island a national leader in integrating disabled people into the workplace

The 10-year pact grew out of an investigation last year that showed developmentally disabled were being sharply underpaid for their work.

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Pension Overhaul
9:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

What The Rejection Of The Public Pension Settlement Means For The State

After an initial rejection of a proposed settlement over public pensions, a judge has ordered parties back into mediation.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A judge has ordered the parties in a lawsuit over Rhode Island's pension overhaul back to the mediation table, after police voted to reject a proposed settlement. Many teachers, firefighters, state workers and retirees voted to accept the deal, which was reached after more than a year of negotiation.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with political analyst Scott Mackay to figure out what the rejection means, and where the pension settlement can go from here.

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Arts & Culture
2:51 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Gov. Chafee Picks Rhode Island Artist For Official Portrait

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has selected Rhode Island artist Julie Gearan to paint his official portrait
Credit file / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has selected the artist who will paint his official portrait. The Rhode Island artist beat out 123 others in the national search.

Julie Gearan said there was something about the fact that she’s not a traditional portrait painter combined with Chafee not being a traditional politician that drew her to apply for the job of painting his official portrait.

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On Politics
12:53 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Pension Settlement in Doubt For Now; Taft-Carter Orders Both Sides Back to Mediation

In a move that could send the battle over Rhode Island's 2011 pension overhaul back to court, one of the six plaintiff groups that had to initially sign off on a proposed settlement has voted against the deal.

As a result, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has ordered the two sides in the dispute -- the state and a series of public-employee unions -- back to mediation. Taft-Carter is slated to get an update on the talks next Monday, April 14.

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