RI general assembly

On Politics
4:19 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

New Poll shows RI voters favor legal pot

In the run up to a Super Bowl between two teams from states that have legalized marijuana, thus giving whole new meaning to the term Bud Bowl, pollsters are taking the pulse of public opinion on  the issue in other states.

Today, Public Policy Polling released a public opinion survey that shows 53 percent of Rhode Island voters support changing the state’s laws to sell, regulate and tax pot in a manner similar to alcohol.

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On Politics
4:07 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

RI: Be Careful when cutting business regulations

One of the biggest nostrums these days from conservatives and some elements of the business community is that our governments, at both the state and national levels, should cut down on regulation and oversight of business.

While it makes sense to streamline regulations that hamper small business, in particular, it is also instructive to parse our history for instances where lax regulation caused pain for our people and our economy.

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On Politics
5:28 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

The Chafee budget item you are not reading about in newspapers

Buried deep in Governor Chafee’s budget is a provision that would save Rhode Islanders several million dollars annually by ending corporate welfare for the beleaguered newspaper industry.

Currently there are more than 250 requirements for legal notices and advertisements to be published in newspapers. These are the agate type legal ads for such things as foreclosures, tax liens, bankruptcy proceedings, public board meetings and the like.

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On Politics
3:38 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Parsing Chafee's final budget

Governor Lincoln Chafee has delivered his final state budget proposal and given his final State of the State speech. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses Chafee’s Last Hurrah.

The cliché says: show me your budget and I’ll figure out your priorities. When it comes to Gov. Chafee’s final budget, that may be a trite description, but it’s true.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:54 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Rhode Island Politics Of Poverty

What hand does politics play in the state's poverty?
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

From the Vatican to the White House and the Rhode Island Statehouse, the talk these days is about poverty. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what our small state can do to alleviate this scourge.

The Gospels tell us that the poor shall always be with us. Pope Francis has dedicated the early months of his papacy to highlighting the need to help the poor and plane the rough edges from unfettered capitalism.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:02 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Hello To The 2014 General Assembly's 2013 Hangover

Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s General Assembly convenes a new session Tuesday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why this year’s legislature may sound a lot like last year’s.

By now, most of us have cleared our heads of those New Year’s  hangovers. That’s not the case for Rhode Island’s 113 lawmakers.

The 2014 Assembly that convenes tomorrow will resemble nothing so much as the …2013 Assembly. The reason for this is all too evident:  As has too often been the case, the Smith Hill Crowd decided not to decide some big, prickly issues last session.

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On Politics
3:01 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

So you think your family is dysfunctional? Try to top Rep. Charlene Lima's

So you think you have a dysfunctional family and are dreading the holidays. Well, the odds are very good that your kin are not as divided as that of Rep. Charlene Lima, a Democrat who represents parts of Cranston and Providence.

Lima is married to a former Democratic state representative, Frank Fiorenzano, a notorious  Providence pol who was convicted in the 1990s of obtaining money under false pretenses after he bilked Statehouse employees and other politicians out of thousands of dollars in a doomed Ponzi-type scheme.

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On Politics
1:19 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Tax-free wine and art coming to Rhode Island Sunday

If you are a aficionado of wine and works of art, you’ll be pleased that beginning Sunday you’ll get a sales tax break.  This means that if you purchase win and spirits from a Rhode Island liquor store, you will not have to pay the state’s 7 percent sales tax.

And if you buy original works of art or limited edition art works anywhere in the Ocean State, the 7 percent sales tax is waived.

These tax breaks are the result of action taken by the 2013 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

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On Politics
4:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Rhode Island vs. Massachusetts: The Economic Myths

It seems sometimes like every Rhode Island business and political leader points to the better economy in Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looked across the state border and finds more myth than reality.

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On Politics
4:02 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Why RI Labor Board made correct decision on child care workers

While the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity is blasting the RI Labor Relations Board decision to move ahead with a vote on unionizing state-subsidized child care workers, it is difficult to question the labor panel’s reasoning.

Some history here:  Mike Stenhouse, ceo of the conservative Freedom & Prosperity group, asked the labor board to delay a vote until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a challenge to a somewhat similar union quest   in Illinois.

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