Politics

Politics
3:12 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Woonsocket leaders avoiding takeover, schools asking for it

PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of the budget commission overseeing Woonsocket's finances said Wednesday he wants to avoid moving the city into receivership or bankruptcy. The commission hopes to close the city's current $7 million deficit through consolidation and spending cuts.

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Politics
7:54 am
Wed June 13, 2012

As General Assembly wraps up session, Woonsocket's finances take a turn for the worse

PROVIDENCE, RI – Woonsocket's fiscal crisis is taking a turn for the worse. Woonsocket will run short of cash after the city's legislative delegation wouldn't support a 13 percent supplemental tax increase.

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Politics
9:17 am
Thu June 7, 2012

State lawmakers debate budget proposal

Politics
10:28 am
Wed June 6, 2012

State lawmakers approve bill to decriminalize marijuana

PROVIDENCE, RI – A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in Rhode Island today. The General Assembly voted Tuesday to approve the measure, which would make having an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense, instead of a criminal one. Under the bill, adults caught with small amounts of pot would face a $150 civil fine. Possession is a misdemeanor under current law, carrying possible jail time and fines of up to $500 dollars.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Gov. Chafee examining the EDC, taps three for its board

PROVIDENCE, RI – In the wake of the unraveling $75 million loan to 38 Studios, Governor Lincoln Chafee is looking to overhaul the state's Economic Development Corporation and restaffing its board.

Chafee says he encouraged the six members who have resigned from the board to leave, and he's told labor leader George Nee he will not be asked to stay on.

Chafee's now rebuilding the board, nominating boat builder Marcia Blount, Newport business owner Alison Vareika, and obstetrician and community leader Dr. Pablo Rodriquez.

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Politics
6:57 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Tentative cost-cutting agreement between Providence and municipal unions

PROVIDENCE, RI – A tentative cost-cutting agreement between the City of Providence and municipal unions will move Rhode Island's capital away from a possible bankruptcy. The deal requires approval by unions representing current workers and retirees.

The tentative agreement will save more than $18 million a year. The pact suspends pension cost of living adjustments for 10 years and eliminates compounded COLAs of 5 and 6 percent. It also moves retirees older than 65 into Medicare. Mayor Angel Taveras says he's cautiously optimistic.

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Politics
10:35 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Chafee calls 38 Studios "the worst investment that's ever been made" in Rhode Island's history

PROVIDENCE, RI – Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is breaking his silence, telling The Providence Journal that Rhode Island's state government played a large role in the decline of his video game company, 38 Studios. He says state refusals to approve film tax credits for 38 Studios led to financial distress, and Governor Lincoln Chafee's public remarks about the company's financial health scared off investors.

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Politics
9:34 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Woonsocket City Council votes to ask state to take over its finances

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Woonsocket City Council has approved a resolution asking the state to appoint a budget commission to oversee its finances. This paves the way for Woonsocket becoming the third Rhode Island community to come under the fiscal thumb of the state.

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Politics
3:33 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Gov. Chafee signs bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries

PROVIDENCE, RI – Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries are praising state leaders for persevering in the face of federal threats.

Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed into law a bill that will clear the way for the establishment of three small dispensaries, each capable of growing a maximum of 99 mature plants. U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha has said he will enforce federal drug laws but has stopped short of saying he will shut down the so-called "compassion centers."

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Politics
7:36 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Woonsocket tax passes another legislative hurdle

Lawmakers in a House committee have approved a supplemental tax for Woonsocket
RIPR staff photo

PROVIDENCE, RI – The House Finance Committee has approved legislation allowing the City of Woonsocket to levy an extra 13 percent tax on property and vehicles. The tax will raise $6.6 million for the financially troubled city. It will help the Woonsocket School Department fill a $10 million budget gap. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says the tax hike may not make the residents of Woonsocket happy - but it will put off bankruptcy.

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