Political news

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is weighing in on the legal challenge to the settlement over the state pension overhaul, whether he is considering a run for the governor’s office, and more.

Magaziner sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison and RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

RIPR File Photo

Sen. Jack Reed has not decided whether he supports President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. On the one hand, Reed calls the agreement historic. On the other hand, he points out that failure would mean nuclear capabilities for Iran, which could spread to neighboring countries.

Raimondo Signs Bill Aimed At Police, Race Relations

Jul 14, 2015
Katherine Doherty

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed legislation that requires local police departments to collect and report data on race and traffic stops. The data must be submitted to the State Department of Transportation each year.

State Representative Joseph Almeida (D-Providence), who has been trying to get similar legislation passed since 1999, said the bill represents one step towards addressing Civil Rights issues in the state.

Wikimedia Commons

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visits the Ocean State Tuesday for a fundraiser in Jamestown.

The democrat will attend an event billed as a cookout at the home Liz and Michael Perik, an entrepreneur in education technology. Tickets start at $100 per person, and can cost as much as $2,700. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.

O’Malley stops in the Ocean State in between stumping in Iowa and nearby New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

Governor Gina Raimondo has selected Colonel Christopher P. Callahan as the new Adjutant General of Rhode Island and the Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard.

Callahan will replace Major General Kevin McBride, who retired in June. Raimondo describes him as an experienced serviceman after 25 years and various positions in the National Guard.


Governor Gina Raimondo plans to sign the budget Tuesday for the state’s next fiscal year. The spending plan includes two of the governor’s top priorities.

Governor Raimondo says the budget will help put people back to work, fix schools, and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island. The spending plan includes money for economic incentives meant to spark job growth, and it also cuts spending on the Medcaid subsidizied healthcare program for the poor.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed says the focus should be intelligence after a terrorist attack at an American gas company in France. The attack included an explosion that killed one person and injured about a dozen others.

"What you’re seeing are these lone wolf attacks," Reed said. "Very difficult to disrupt because there’s not a lot of hierarchical organization. It’s an individual one or two, who are self-radicalized in many cases."

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The General Assembly session came to a very abrupt end Thursday due to an impasse between the House and Senate. After starting their legislative year in January, lawmakers will now be called back in the fall to tackle one or two major issues. Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis spoke with host Dave Fallon, about this session's highs and lows.

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

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are expected to wrap up the regular part of their 2015 session later this week. It remains unknown for now if legislators will return to hold a special session later this year.Governor Gina Raimondo is pressing lawmakers to back a plan to fund bridge improvements through new tolls on truck.

The state Trucking Association opposes the plan.


House Republicans say the state can fix aging bridges without new tolls on trucks. The GOP has called for $60 million a year to be set aside from the state budget for up to 12 years.

West Warwick Representative Patricia Morgan says using money from the budget would be cheaper than Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan to toll trucks. Morgan said that’s because the state would not need to build toll-collecting devices known as gantries, or pay millions in interest for borrowing money to make improvements.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House lawmakers are slated to begin voting Tuesday on the budget for the fiscal year starting July first.

The House budget vote usually starts in the late afternoon and concludes in the hours before dawn. This time, in a break from past practice, House leaders say they’ll pause around midnight and resume the next day if more time is needed.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State and federal prosecutors say they continue to look at the corruption case involving former House speaker Gordon Fox.

Fox says he took $52,500 in bribes to approve a liquor license for a Thayer Street bar. No other individuals have been charged in connection with the case, but US Attorney Peter Neronha says the matter remains under review.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is praising the budget approved by a legislative committee Tuesday a pro-business spending plan for the state. The budget is considered a political victory for Governor Gina Raimondo since she got most of what she wanted.

The House Finance Committee’s budget eliminates the business sales tax on utilities, reduces the $500 corporate minimum tax by $50, and includes incentives meant to spark jobs. Speaker Mattiello points to how it also cuts taxes on Social Security benefits and increases a tax credit meant to help the poor.


Former House speaker Gordon Fox is scheduled to be sentenced this Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of bribery, tax fraud and filing a false tax return. Federal prosecutors have recommended a three-year prison sentence for Fox.

US District Court Judge Mary Lisi can accept prosecutors’ recommended sentence for Fox, or impose a different one.


House lawmakers have voted to pass an $8.7 billion dollar budget that restores some proposed cuts and adds money for education and economic development.

House finance committee members voted to include many of Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposals to streamline Medicaid and spur business and job growth.  But the budget that now heads to the full House for a vote is $37 million dollars richer than her original ask, thanks to a rosier state revenue picture. House fiscal advisor Sharon Reynolds Ferland gave lawmakers the bottom line.