Peter Kilmartin

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 (

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.

RI Road Deaths Decline

Mar 11, 2015
thisisbossi / flickr

Some good news for Ocean State motorists: Driving fatalities are at an all  time low in Rhode Island.

That’s the word from Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin, who announced today that road deaths dropped from 65 in 2013 to 52 in 2014. That’s a continuation of the decline in fatalities, from a high of 104 in 2003. The 2014 numbers are the lowest number of road fatalities since 1994.

Most encouraging, perhaps, is the drop in deaths of young drivers aged 16 to 24. Deaths for this age group have dropped from 22 in 2009 to eight in 2014.

John Bender / RIPR

The state is suing a scrap metal yard on the Providence waterfront, at the upper Narragansett Bay, for alleged environmental violations.  This is not the first time the company has come under fire.

Back in 2012, the Department of Environmental Management, notified Rhode Island Recycled Metals, it was violating numerous rules on water pollution.  The state worked with the company on a plan to solve the issues.  But more than 2 years later, the DEM says the company still hasn’t cleaned up. DEM director Janet Coit says she’s taking them to court.

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons

As the Patriots hurtle towards the American Football Conference championships this weekend, the Attorney General’s office is warning fans not to fall for ticket scams. 

For high profile games like the AFC Championships or the Super bowl demand for tickets goes up, and with it, the opportunity for scams.  The AG’s office reminds local fans not to let themselves be tricked just to get a real-life glimpse of the grid-iron.  If you missed out on regular tickets don’t go to sites like Craigslist to find one.

Residents will get a chance Tuesday to tell the state’s Public Utilities Commission how they feel about a proposed 24 percent rate hike from National Grid.  If approved, the rate hike would kick in on January 1st .

Ian Donnis

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown), the Republican candidate for attorney general in last week's election, joins Political Roundtable to talk about what went wrong; the outlook on the state budget; the transitions for the state's new elected officials; and more.

Will the stars align for a nail-biting November 4 election eve with key races hanging in the balance? Read on, dear reader, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Feel free to send your comments and tips to idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's hit it.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is seeking a second term as the state’s chief law enforcement officer. As part of our election coverage, Rhody Votes ‘14, Kilmartin sat down to talk about open records, strengthening gun laws and legalizing marijuana.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Republican State Senator Dawson Hodgson is challenging incumbent Attorney general Peter Kilmartin. As part of our election coverage, Rhody Votes ’14, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch  sat down with Hodgson to talk about open records, strengthening gun laws and legalizing marijuana.

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Attorney General Peter Kilmartin hosts fellow AG’s from across the Northeast for a two-day conference addressing sexual assault on college campuses. The group will work to determine how law enforcement can do a better job investigating campus sexual assault.