RI Senate

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio joins Bonus Q+A to talk about the future of the state Senate, the amount of labor influence in the chamber, the outlook for the proposed hotel at the Fogarty Building, and other topics.

Aaron Read / RIPR

When she was Rhode Island’s state general treasurer, Gina Raimondo led a successful campaign to overhaul the state’s pension system. As she pursues a controversial truck tolling policy, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why she is not taking a chapter from her treasurer’s book now.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

In a bold move, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio (D-Providence) submitted legislation Thursday proposing tax stabilization standards for the 195 District in Providence.

The sweat box that is the Rhode Island Statehouse in the summer months may become a thing of the past.

John Bender / RIPR

A Senate task force has come out with a troubling report on Rhode Island’s Department of Children Youth and Families – the agency that oversees child welfare and the state’s foster care system.  The report found significant evidence that some children in the system are not being well-served. Now serious questions are being raised about how the department is run.

Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison talked about the issue with task force co-chair State Senator Lou DiPalma.


Legislative leaders opened the new General Assembly session yesterday by pledging to focus on jobs and education.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed unanimously won re-election to their leadership posts.  Mattiello began his chamber’s 2015 session by vowing to keep a continued focus on jobs and the economy.  Mattiello won his first full two-year term as speaker on a unanimous vote.

State Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston), chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, joins Bonus Q&A to talk about efforts to reduce healthcare costs, the outlook for Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's relationship with the General Assembly, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's selection of Elizabeth Roberts to be the state's next secretary of Health and Human Services; the outlook for legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island; Raimondo's reversal in keeping the media out of an economic summit; and more.

Aaron Read / RIPR

UPDATE: This was approved: Rhode Island’s low-skill minimum wage workers will very likely get a wage increase under legislation that the Rhode Island House is poised to approve before the end of the current legislative session.

The measure would jump the state’s floor wage for workers from the current $8 per hour to $9 on January 1, 2015. Such legislation has been approved by the state Senate and the House Labor Committee and has been posted for action by the full House tomorrow.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he plans to sign into law the $8.7 billion budget passed Monday by the Rhode Island Senate. Senators took less than an hour to passing the spending plan on a 32-to-five vote.


The state Senate is expected Monday to approve a new budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  The House of Representatives passed the spending plan early last Friday morning.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has appointed a veteran Republican and a veteran Democrat to the R.I. State Board of Elections.

The Republican is Stephen Erickson, a retired state District Court judge and former state representative. Erickson was an associate justice of the R.I. District Court from 1990 until 2010 and was supervising judge in Kent County from 1997 to 2001. He currently is an adjunct professor of law at the Roger Williams University School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island  and Boston University Law School.

UPDATE: Skenyon began working in Mattiello's office today, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

With rumors dancing through the Statehouse corridors of power, new House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has yet to reveal his leadership team. Which isn’t unusual, considering he wasn’t formally elected speaker until about an hour ago.


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.

Rhode Island’s 2013 General Assembly made history by legalizing gay marriage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why lawmakers don’t handle other issues in the same manner.

After a vigorous debate, the Assembly made history in April when it approved same gender marriage, making Rhode Island the 12th American state to sanction gay unions.