Lincoln Chafee

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A to talk about the ongoing state pension dispute, HealthSourceRI, CVS' decision to develop a new technology center in Boston, the Rhode Map controversy, and more.

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is considering Citizens Bank executive Barbara Cottam for a top position in her new administration, according to Statehouse sources.

Cottam, who has vast experience in both the private and political sectors in Rhode Island, is under consideration for chief of staff, one of the most important positions in any gubernatorial administration.

The state made an early payment to the U.S. Treasury on a loan used to cover unemployment benefits. It was the state’s final payment and the feds got it six months early.

Since March of 2009, Rhode Island borrowed nearly a billion dollars to cover unemployment benefits. The state made its final payment on that lump sum six months early, saving businesses more than $50 million next year. It will save local businesses said department of Labor and Training director Charles Fogarty.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Islanders have elected a governor with far less than a majority of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what we can do about this.

The boisterous cheers among delirious Democrats crammed into the Providence Biltmore’s 17th floor ballroom on election night have barely quieted. You can’t blame them for hoisting drinks and shouting themselves hoarse:  Gina Raimondo became the first woman to win election as Rhode Island's  governor and the only Democrat to capture the state’s highest elected office since 1992.

As the hours dwindle until next Tuesday, Republican Allan Fung has a significant edge in campaign money over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaign.

Reports filed with the state Board of Elections show that Fung has about $270,000 remaining in his campaign account, while Raimondo’s campaign chest has only about $32,000. Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey, the third candidate in the race to succeed Lincoln Chafee as governor, has not solicited campaign contributions.

Governor Lincoln Chafee and other elected officials will be touring the grounds of Rocky Point in Warwick Friday.  On Saturday the former amusement park land will be open to the public.  This will be the first time in about two decades.

RIPR FILE

The major candidates for Rhode Island governor have spent much of their campaigns focused on the economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what they aren’t telling voters.

All of the Rhode Island political campaigns this year are talking about our state’s sluggish economy. In the governor’s contest between Republican Allan Fung, the Cranston mayor, and Democrat Gina Raimondo, the state treasurer, jobs and the economy often seem to be the only topic.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is accusing the Department of Motor Vehicles of sharing personal information with a federal anti-terrorism database.

The ACLU says a document that appears to be leaked from the National Counter Terrorism Center shows Rhode Island is one of 15 states that shared driver’s license data with the organization.  In 2013 the center collected more than 2,400 facial images from driver’s licenses from across the country.

UPDATE: La Salle has decided to remove all the photographs of La Salle alums from the ``Wall of Notables'' reports Tom Mooney at the ProJo.

The school's Board of Trustees voted to take down all of the photos because they had become a distraction to learning, the ProJo reported. On of those photos was of U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who, like Raimondo is a La Salle alum. There were 25 photos on the notables wall.

My original post from last week:

Ernie Almonte, independent candidate for general treasurer, has picked up two union endorsements – the R.I. State Association of Fire Fighters and the R.I. Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.

``I am honored to be endorsed by Rhode Island fire fighters and correctional officers,’’ said Almonte, in a statement. ``As treasurer I will work tirelessly to restore confidence in Rhode Island’s finances and ensure those who have dutifully paid into their pension plans never have to worry about their retirement hanging in jeopardy.’’

Rhode Island's next governor - whether it's Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo - will have plenty of challenges to tackle upon taking office. The state's ailing economy will most likely hold the spotlight over the next eight weeks until the general election. But perhaps I could put a few health care items on the agenda for their consideration - and for the general assembly's.

Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung  clashed in their second debate within 24 hours this afternoon, a meeting that produced more heat than enlightenment and revealed few major policy differences between the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the September 9 primary.

John Bender / RIPR

T.F. Green airport in Warwick is going international.

The airoport is partnering with the German Airline Condor to offer fights to and from Frankfurt.  This is the first intercontinental flight ever offered at the Warwick Airport.

Flights will be two days a week starting in 2015.  For the first year it will be a seasonal service, starting in June and lasting through about September.

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is scheduled to be in Rhode Island Wednesday.  He’ll be speaking at an event at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.

Hagel will also speak on defense technology and industry at the ‘Defense Innovation Days’.  This conference brings lawmakers and defense industry reps together to discuss changes and trends in the industry.  Rhode Island has long relied on the defense industry for jobs, currently, with several government contracts manufacturing submarines. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay. They discuss what Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hit and missed to boost the state’s economy and what the next governor will need to do to lift the state out of its economic doldrums.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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