Politics

Politics
8:51 am
Thu June 12, 2014

State's Historic Tax Program Not Included In State Budget

The top of the Atlantic Mills building in Providence is one of the Providence Preservation Society most 'endangered' properties in the city. The Society has been working to redevelop the property; hoping to take advantage of the state's historic tax credits program.
Credit Providence Preservation Society

The House will take up a budget Thursday that does not include funding for the state’s historic tax credit program. In his budget, the governor included $52 million in tax credits with a $5 million per-project cap. But in a statement, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the state is taking a one-year break, and points to projects still in the pipeline. Providence Preservation Society Executive Director Brent Runyon said that pipeline needs to stay open.

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Governor's Race
9:56 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Spar At First Televised Debate

Angel Taveras, one of three major Democratic hopefuls for governor.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

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Politics
2:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

RI Lawmakers Again Consider Calamari As Official State Appetizer

A House committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make calamari the official state appetizer. If this sounds familiar it’s because last year similar legislation grabbed headlines then died in the General Assembly.

The whole thing started when Rep. Joseph McNamara spotted “Rhode Island calamari” on the menu at a fancy restaurant in New Hampshire.  To his thinking, if calamari became the official appetizer then that just might put the state’s name on menus across the country.

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Politics
11:37 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Director Of State Elderly Affairs Division Jumps Into Lieutenant Governor Race

Catherine Taylor, the State’s director of the Division of Elderly Affairs is stepping down from her post to jump into the race for Lieutenant Governor.  This will be the second time Taylor will run against Ralph Mollis.

The first time the two sparred for political office was in 2010, in the race for Secretary of State. Mollis won that contest by a razor thin margin of 1.2 percent beating Taylor by less than four thousand votes; not enough to prompt a recount. Since then Taylor has served director of the Division of Elderly Affairs for Rhode Island.

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Politics
9:45 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Richard Licht Judgeship Vote Expected For Tuesday

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this Tuesday on a top state official’s nomination to be a Superior Court judge.  Richard Licht currently heads the state Department of Administration.

Governor Lincoln Chafee nominated Licht for the judicial post last month. If confirmed, Licht will take the place of retired Superior Court judge Judith Savage and earn close to 150-thousand dollars a year.

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Politics
9:13 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Bill Looks To Create Commission To Investigate State Loan Programs

A new bill would create a commission to investigate state loan programs.
Credit RIPR FILE

A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.

The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.

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Politics
8:24 am
Fri June 6, 2014

House Finance Committee Passes $8.7 Billion Budget

Lawmakers announce plan to zap Sakonnet River Bridge toll. House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison stands at the microphone.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Bonus Q+A: Ferri on the Minimum Wage, His Campaign, and Why He Wants to Be Lieutenant Governor

State Representative Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), one of three Democrats running for lieutenant governor, joins Bonus Q+A this week to talk about his campaign and related issues.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Political Roundtable: Ferri on Running for LG; RI's Healthcare Exchange; 38 Studios & More

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), one of three Democrats running for lieutenant governor, joined Political Roundtable this week discuss his campaign and other issues, including 38 Studios and the Democratic race for governor.

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Politics
10:33 am
Thu June 5, 2014

House Committee Approves Mental Health Gun Legislation

The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve what may be some of the only gun legislation this session.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is one of three federal databases that federally licensed gun sellers check before selling anyone a gun.  

Right now the state does not submit any information to NICS.  The bill voted on by the House Judiciary Committee would allow the state’s District Court to report to NICS anyone who has been deemed a danger to themselves or others after a mental health hearing.

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