Politics

Political news

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on the budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. As is usually the case the House makes some changes to the spending plan introduced by the governor.

The House Finance budget is not expected to include truck tolls proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo to help pay for bridge improvements. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says more information is needed about the plan. The budget does include funding for HealthSource RI, the state’s version of Obamacare, as well as economic incentives meant to spark economic growth.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Raimondo administration is reducing the number of trucks it wants to toll as part of a new program to pay for infrastructure improvements. However the State Trucking Association remains opposed to the governor’s initiative.

The governor’s office is exempting trucks in class sizes 6 and 7 from its plan to institute electronic tolls on highways around the state. The cost of the tolls has not yet been publicly identified.

Dank Depot / flickr

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to hear a slate of bills Tuesday about marijuana.  One bill would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Rhode Island.

Lawmakers will once again consider legalizing the use and possession of marijuana for adults over 21. The idea is to regulate and tax the drug like alcohol. Proponents say that would cut down jail time for small-time offenders and increase state revenue.

RIPR FILE

Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to make it official next week: he's running for president.

Chafee's campaign confirmed Friday that he will officially launch his bid for the democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday. The announcement is expected during a speech at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

After forming an exploratory committee in April, Chafee has visited some early primary states, including New Hampshire. He often criticizes democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for her Senate vote in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Wikimedia Commons

A multi-day hearing to assess the fairness of the state’s proposed pension settlement is scheduled to start Wednesday in Superior Court. Most of the public employees involved in the case have already approved the settlement.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter last month set a timeline for moving ahead with the pension deal. About 65 people with concerns about the settlement have asked to speak in front of the judge.

The so-called fairness hearing is expected to last three to five days. The hearing will begin with expert testimony about each side of the pension case.

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