Politics

Political news

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the all-night session that closed out the legislative session will not happen again on his watch. Lawmakers concluded their 2016 session after sunrise on Saturday.

RIPR file photo

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote Tuesday night on the legislative version of Governor Raimondo’s spending plan.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello declined to release details about the budget Monday, but said "substantial agreement" had been reached.

“The budget is a complex document, so we’re looking at individual issues," said Mattiello. "And when we have a final document, you’ll see it.”

Raimondo unveiled her almost $9 spending plan in February.

Governor Gina Raimondo has been in office for almost 18 months. She stopped by our studio Thursday to talk about a range of issues, including today’s visit to Rhode Island by Vice President Joe Biden.

For more conversation with the governor, check our Political Roundtable segment.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s plan for revising the awarding legislative community service grants will emerge in about a week. Mattiello acknowledges the grants have become a political mess.

The resignation earlier this month of House Finance Chairman Ray Gallsion sparked scrutiny of the community service grants. The state is giving out $11 million in the grants to nonprofit groups this year.

Speaking Monday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed echoed calls for unity among Democrats in the lead up to the presidential election. But Reed stopped short of saying it's time for fellow Senator Bernie Sanders to drop out of the Democratic nominating contest. 

"That’s a decision that Senator Sanders is going to have to make," Reed said "But I think it should be clearer and clearer to him that we have to be a united party to be successful in November."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Islanders considering running for public office have an upcoming opportunity to learn about campaign fundamentals. The non-partisan good government group Operation Clean Government is staging its latest “Candidate School” on June 4 at Rhode Island College. The head of Operation Clean Government, Margaret Kane, stopped by our studio to discuss the event.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee plans this Tuesday to begin a series of hearings on community service grants.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposal by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to strengthen the state Ethics Commission is due to be introduced Tuesday.

An enhanced ethics oversight has not always been a priority for Mattiello. The speaker’s office declined to provide details about Mattiello’s ethics proposal prior to its introduction. But Mattiello’s interest in the issue has heartened some longtime government watchdogs.

RIPR FILE

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says lawmakers should not be able to get paid through state community service grants.

The grants are facing scrutiny due to the resignation Tuesday of former House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison.

Gallison received tens of thousands of dollars in pay from community service grants for his work for an education nonprofit. Mattiello says that’s wrong.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to give a grant that a member specifically receives numeration out of to any organizations,” said Mattiello.

RIPR

After several days of campaigning, and a pair of conflicting local polls in Rhode Island, the race between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary seemed up in the air before Tuesday’s primary.

But Sanders was able to pull off a win, by a surprising 12 percentage points. Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender brings us this report from Sanders' Ocean State watch-party. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Hillary Clinton claimed primary victories in Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, but on the Democratic side at least, Rhode Island went its own way. Nearly 55 percent of voters in the Democratic primary chose Sanders, compared with 43 percent for Clinton. Sanders' margin of victory was larger than expected.

Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons

The Republican Presidential front runner Donald Trump will be in Warwick Monday. He held a rally at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick this afternoon.

Trump is the latest candidate to stop in Rhode Island, as Tuesday's presidential primary approaches. Over the weekend, fellow Republican John Kasich stumped at Bryant University. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also held rallies in Central Falls and Providence respectively.

The presidential primary is just days away, and three of the candidates plan to visit Rhode Island this weekend. Republican John Kasich will speak in Smithfield this Saturday morning. Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a rally in Central Falls later in the day. And her rival Bernie Sanders will address a crowd in Providence on Sunday.

Elisabeth Harrison

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addressed a crowd at Bryant University Saturday, just a few days before Rhode Island's presidential primary.

Speaking on a range of issues, the Ohio governor discussed his childhood in Pennsylvania coal country, his concerns about the national debt, and his belief that government should ease regulation to help small business owners.

"Our job is not to play politics, do focus groups, worry about re-election," Kasich said. "The fundamental problem we’ve had in America is our leadership has been very poor."

Pages