scott mackay

  Zachary Sherman, who has been acting director of HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, has been chosen as the new director, state Administration Director Michael DiBiase announced today.

Sherman, a longtime health care consultant, has been the interim director since November, 2015. A Vermont native, Sherman took over the post when Anya Rader Wallack left it to become executive director of the state’s Medicaid program.


Some good news for Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly in the latest revenue numbers for fiscal year 2016 from the state Department of Revenue.

Through January, both the personal income tax collections and the sales tax receipts are exceeding state projections. Income tax collections are running nearly four percent –3.8 percent—ahead of estimates. The sales levy is bringing in 3.4 percent more than estimates.

Gage Skidmore / Southern New Hampshire University/flickr

Rhode Islander Tad Devine is the chief messenger for insurgent Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Devine recently to talk about Sanders surprising success.

President Obama intends to appoint Providence native Tom Donilon, the president’s former National Security Advisor, to be chairman of the federal  Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, according to a top White House aide.

Mr. Obama also intends to tap Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, as the vice-chairman of the commission.

It’s that time of the year again – As the song trills: It’s Follies Time at The Veeeenus De Milo!

Longtime Rhode Islanders know what that means. So for the uninitiated, or if you’ve been living in a yurt for the past year, the event is always held the last Friday in February, which is Feb. 26th this year. It is the social and political event of the season -  the Providence Newspaper Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass.

Wikimedia Commons

As the nation pays its final respects to Antonin Scalia, the brilliant legal scholar and conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice, one interest group breathing a sigh of relief is organized labor, particularly the public employee unions.

That’s because one of the crucial cases likely to be affected by Scalia’s passing is the future of public employee unions. Under a California legal joust that was decided in favor of the unions in the lower courts, a union’s right to charge dues to members who are not union members, but are part of a collective bargaining unit, was up in the air.

Mourners can pay respects to the late Buddy Cianci at City Hall on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 6 and 7). His body will lie in repose at City Hall from noon to 6 p.m. both days. Those wishing to pay respects should enter via the Washington Street City Hall entrance.

John Bender / RIPR

Billy Reynolds, the longtime Providence Journal columnist who is one of the nation’s very best basketball writers, has written a remarkable new book entitled Hope: A School, A Team, A Dream.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In Providence and in Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci was one of the most influential political figures of his generation, as well as one of the most controversial. His time as Providence mayor was marked by significant economic redevelopment, but also marred by violence, cronyism and corruption.

Greg Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons License

Former Rhode Island Republican governor Lincoln Almond has agreed to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Almond says he believes that Bush is the best choice among the large field of Republican presidential aspirants.

``I’m very friendly with the Bush family and have been for many years,’’ Almond said in an interview. Almond cited Bush’s tenure as Florida governor and his leading role in education policy.

Gas prices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts  continue to drop. That’s the latest word from the American Automobile Association.

Gas prices have dropped by three cents per gallon in both states. The Triple-A’s survey of prices in Massachusetts finds the average gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gas at $1.84 per gallon.

The Rhode Island, that same gallon carries an average cost of $1.91. ``Crude oil prices haven’t been this low since 2003,’’ says Mary McGuire, AAA spokeswoman.

The Providence snow parking ban will begin at 10 p.m. this evening, according to an announcement from Mayor Jorge Elorza.

The Pawtucket parking ban will start at 2 p.m. this afternoon and continue until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Providence residents with overnight parking passes cannot park on a city street during the parking ban. Vehicles left on streets in violation of the ban will be subject to ticketing and towing.

Richard Culatta, a former Obama Administration education adviser, has been chosen by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the state’s new  $210,000 a year "chief innovation officer."

Raimondo said Culatta will lead an effort to find better approaches to deliver government services in an efficient manner.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Rhode Island House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino is scheduled to meet Thursday with the House Oversight Committee probing the 38 Studios disaster.

House spokesman Larry Berman says Costantino, who now works in state government in Vermont, will meet with the committee to discuss his role in shaping the program that gave the doomed 38 Studios video game company a $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed subsidy.

The committee is slated to meet after the House floor session ends Thursday. The confab is scheduled for room 101 at the Statehouse.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo has harped on creating new manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island since she began running for the governorship in 2014. But since moving into the 2nd floor Statehouse office on Smith Hill, the first-term Democrat changed her tune a bit, especially when it comes to recruiting high-tech companies to come to the Ocean State.

This morning, Raimondo’s face was peering out from the first business page of the Boston Globe. Her message was a distinctly different approach from her emphasis on manufacturing for the Ocean State business crowd.