Peter Kilmartin

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The end of the criminal investigation over 38 Studios is sparking debate about whether material from the probe should be released to the public. 

The dispute reflects the questions many residents still have about the state-backed video game company and its costly meltdown.

Don't look now, but it's barely more than 30 days until the state primary election that will help shape the next class of state lawmakers. Meanwhile, debate about 38 Studios has again reached a fever pitch. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Five civil liberties and open government groups called Tuesday for the public release of the material from the 38 Studios investigation.

Ian Donnis

State Police and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will pursue no criminal charges after a years-long investigation into 38 Studios, the company that won a $75 million public subsidy to move to Rhode Island, then went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

In announcing results of the investigation, State  Police Col. Steven O'Donnell said a bad business deal doesn't necessarily provide grounds for a criminal indictment.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is joining a group of his peers calling on Congress to fund research into the prevention of gun violence. 

By law, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t been able to use public funds to research gun violence prevention. Many public health researchers believe that has stymied their ability to find ways to reduce gun violence.

Now, attorneys general from 14 states are asking Congress to lift that ban and direct funding to the CDC immediately.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Bonus Q&A to talk about lobbying reform, Voter ID, public records, and much more.

The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee discussed legislation involving sex trafficking in the state Tuesday. A proposed bill would require all convicted sex trafficking criminals to also register as sex offenders.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s Spokesperson Amy Kempe said the law would treat sex trafficking in the same way that other sex offenses are dealt with.

“It’s a right step, it’s a smart move to make, so that people will know if they have somebody who has been convicted of sex trafficking living in their community.”

John Bender / RIPR

State officials are asking the court to appoint a receiver in their quest to stop pollution from a metal recycling business on the Providence waterfront. The site has been the subject of a years-long battle involving environmental groups and state regulators. The case recently reached a critical turning point.

RIPR file photo

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is renewing a push for tougher penalties that he calls a better deterrent for the harm caused by drunk drivers.

Law enforcement officials are turning to the courts as they look to turn the tide on a drug overdose epidemic. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says it will be increasingly common to bring murder charges against drug dealers and manufacturers involved in an overdose death.

“We actually have a case right now regarding a fentanyl death," said Kilmartin. "And that’s in the court process. And we’ll see what the outcome of the case is. It’s the first case ever prosecuted in the state like that so we’re hopeful.”

Capitol TV

At a time when a US nuclear agreement with Iran remains the subject of sharp debate, a two-year-old law calling for Rhode Island to divest from companies doing business with Iran has failed to result in the divestment of any money.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Attorney General is appealing to Superior Court to stop rate increases for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island customers, saying the rate hikes are too steep.

State Health Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Hittner recently issued decisions about how much health insurance rates could increase for 2016. Most increases were in the single digits.

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.

Corey Davis / Network for Public Health Law (https://www.networkforphl.org/)

A law designed to encourage people to get help for a drug overdose will expire on July 1st. State lawmakers were unable to reconcile versions of the Good Samaritan law before the General Assembly adjourned for the session.

The Good Samaritan law protected people who called 911 about an overdose from being arrested for drug possession. Lawmakers considered extending the law and expanding it to people on parole or probation. But the General Assembly left for the summer without taking any action. That means legal protection expires in just a few days.

Federal Wildlife Service

A push to legalize marijuana – once again – has returned to the Statehouse.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what has become a perennial issue.

Except for speeding on Rhode Island’s roads, is there a law more frequently scoffed at by citizens than the ban on recreational use of marijuana?
As the General Assembly again tackles the prickly issue of legalizing marijuana, it is well beyond the time for rigorous study of a policy that too often devolves into cliché and anecdotal opinion.

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