Political news

State Representative Joseph Almeida put out a brief statement Wednesday in response to charges he illegally pocketed campaign funds for personal use.

The Providence democrat maintained his innocence, indicating he has no intention of stepping down from his house seat.

"As I move forward, my focus will be on representing the hard-working people of my district." Almeida said. "I respect the legal process and I maintain my innocence as this matter is adjudicated in court."

Maureen Moakley

On the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement to restore diplomacy with Cuba, University of Rhode Island professor Maureen Moakley took a group of students to Havana to see first-hand the political and social changes 50 years after the Cuban revolution. A regular contributor to our Political Roundtable Moakley spoke spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org


U.S. Senator Jack Reed is calling for additional military assistance to help the Ukrainian government as fighting worsens with Russian-backed separatists. Reed is the ranking Democrat of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Reed and Armed Services Committee Chair Senator John McCain, are asking the Obama administration to commit to aid in the form of defensive weaponry.  That includes things like anti-tank weapons, and rocket locating radar systems. 

Developer and former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino joins Bonus Q&A to discuss snow removal; how Providence can cultivate more tax revenue; what's next for the Superman Building; and more.


A bill that would increase Rhode Island's minimum wage is set to go before the House Labor Committee Thursday.  The bill would push the state's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.


Former Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is making a push for line-item veto power for the Governor. He’s launched a website to drive the issue.

On the new website you can send an email to Governor Raimondo, as well as legislative leaders, voicing your support for the issue.  Block wants the governor to have the power to veto single items from the state budget.  University of Rhode Island Political science professor and commentator Maureen Moakley said the issue is unlikely to gain traction with state lawmakers.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo’s choice to lead the state Health and Human Services secretariat cleared her first hurdle to confirmation Tuesday. Governor Gina Raimondo has asked her, in part, to contain the cost of subsidized healthcare for the poor.

“I do not underestimate the challenge that I’m being asked to take on. I’ve already seen in my first three and a half weeks, when I’ve been privileged to serve before I was approved, how many varieties of challenge I’ve inherited,” said Roberts.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his expectations for Governor Gina Raimondo's first budget, the outlook for RIPTA, his political future, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joins Political Roundtable to discuss how top elected officials responded to the Blizzard of 2015; development in Warwick; and the outlook for RI Republicans to win more elections.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Bonus Q+A to talk about whether mail ballots are too easily obtained, what steps should be taken to increase disclosure by lobbyists, how to better encourage voting participation, and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Political Roundtable to talk about what needs to be done to improve lobbying oversight; whether she'll move to oppose Voter ID; her reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address; and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Separate Senate committees gave initial approval Tuesday to two of Governor Gina Raimondo’s nominees to lead state agencies. Both of the nominees held positions in the Chafee administration.

In the Senate Judiciary Committee, State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell won unanimous backing to remain the director of the state Department of Public Safety. 

U.S. Capitol

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth state of the Union address last night.  His main focus was the middle class, as the nation continues to recover from an economic downturn.  

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss his views on how to improve the city's economy, his working relationship with Mayor Jorge Elorza, his fines from the state Board of Elections, and other subjects.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The newly elected president of the Providence City Council, Luis Aponte, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the use of tax stabilization agreements; the budget outlook in the capital city; Governor Gina Raimondo's early moves on the economy, and more.