Politics

Political news

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox says same-sex marriage legislation is dead for the year.

Fox, who is openly gay and a strong backer of same-sex marriage, says there is insuperable opposition in the Senate. He's sponsoring civil union legislation instead.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, a powerful opponent of gay marriage legislation, says she will support the civil union bill and predicts it will pass.

Photo by: Ian Donnis.

PROVIDENCE, RI – House Minority Leader Robert Watson is disputing the account offered by East Haven, Connecticut, police of his arrest last Friday.

During a speech on the House floor, Watson accused the police of orchestrating his arrest after realizing he was a state representative. Police say Watson smelled of marijuana and had trouble with field sobriety tests.

Watson says he did not smoke marijuana that day and was not under the influence.

Credit: East Haven Police Department.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – House minority leader Robert Watson says he "vehemently" denies driving under the influence last Friday night in Connecticut. Watson was arrested at a DWI checkpoint in East Haven, Connecticut.

Watson was arrested at 10 pm Friday at a DWI checkpoint where all motorists were stopped. According to an East Haven, Connecticut police report, Watson smelled of alcohol and admitted to drinking two-and-a-half beers at a friend's house.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A new financial report cites for Providence Mayor David Cicilline for poor financial management.

The review authored by city Internal Auditor Matthew Clarkin and government finance expert Gary Sasse says Cicilline failed to present the Providence City Council with a ``corrective action plan'' that could have ``minimized the city's financial meltdown.''

The report says that Cicilline's administration did not provide the council with monthly financial statements or projections of year end deficits.

Providence, RI – A new Brown University poll finds mixed support for Governor Lincoln Chafee's tax plan.

Close to 60 percent of respondents say they support extending the sales tax to include dry cleaning, and movie and concert tickets. But 88 percent oppose adding a one percent tax for heating fuel. A slim majority of respondents is against taxing clothing or shoes.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents back Chafee's plan to lower the state sales tax from seven to six percent. The governor's approval rating came in at 32 percent.

Providence, RI – A new Brown University poll finds mixed support for Governor Lincoln Chafee's tax plan.

Close to 60 percent of respondents say they support extending the sales tax to include dry cleaning, and movie and concert tickets. But 88 percent oppose adding a one percent tax for heating fuel. A slim majority of respondents is against taxing clothing or shoes.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents back Chafee's plan to lower the state sales tax from seven to six percent. The governor's approval rating came in at 32 percent.

Providence, RI – The push for same-sex marriage legislation has gained two new supporters, including one of the state's most prominent unions.

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO announced its support of the same-sex marriage bill after a recent vote of its executive committee. The union's president, George Nee, calls same-sex marriage a fundamental civil rights issue.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln Chafee was on the road yesterday promoting the budget he presented to the General Assembly the day before. In the Tuesday night speech he invoked the name of his barber, Ernie, to support his proposal to impose a six percent sales tax on some goods and services that have never been taxed.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senator Jack Reed says the international community should take the lead in trying to oust Libya's government.

Reed says the U.S. should be cautious about using military force in Libya, because doing so would raise expectations of a deeper American involvement. Instead, he says, the US should work with its United Nations colleagues for change in Libya.

Photo by Alex Nunes.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has briefed leaders of the General Assembly on his budget proposal a day before he publicly announces his strategy for addressing the state's budget deficit.

Chafee, an independent, met with state House and Senate leaders Monday afternoon in the Statehouse. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed would not reveal details of Chafee's proposal. She said Chafee avoided budget details during the meeting and instead presented his "overarching vision" for the budget.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A former North Providence town councilman accused of soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes is scheduled to return to court today for a change-of-plea hearing to federal conspiracy, bribery and extortion charges.

John Zambarano is also expected to plead guilty to his role in an unrelated insurance fraud scheme.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senators from Rhode Island, Florida, New York, and West Virginia say Florida's governor should enact a program to better track the growing trade of abused prescription drugs to other states, a route called the "flamingo express."

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