State Senate

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The head of Rhode Island's online insurance marketplace says she's encouraged by the amount of interest consumers have shown in signing up for health insurance on the state’s newly launched health exchange.

It’s been up and running since October 1st to help uninsured Rhode Islanders and small businesses get the health coverage most are required to have by January 2014.

Healthsource RI leader Christy Ferguson briefed state senators on how it’s working last night. She says the exchange could help drive down health care costs if plenty of small businesses sign up.

In a move that will be interpreted as a kiss to the leadership of the state Senate, Governor Lincoln Chafee on Friday unveiled his nomination of former Senate president Joseph Montalbano as a Superior Court judge. Chafee is also nominating Patricia Asquith as associate justice of the Family Court.

Via statement:

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins us to talk about the outlook on same-sex marriage; the effectiveness of the General Assembly; whether the master lever should be abolished; and whether Ethics Commission oversight of lawmakers should be restored, among other issues.

Bess Marine

Legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Rhode Island remains under consideration in the state Senate. Supporters want the General Assembly to approve same-sex marriage; opponents are backing a bill with broad exceptions that would make the issue subject to a statewide vote. Exactly when the Senate will vote on these bills remains unclear. Yet both sides are relying on grassroots campaigns to tip the outcome in their favor. These efforts could determine whether Rhode Island changes its status as the only New England state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins the Roundtable to discuss same-sex marriage, Governor Lincoln Chafee's blaming of the media for his low approval ratings; and continued woes for the RI GOP.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) believes the "marriage equality" bill backed by same-sex marriage proponents will emerge from the Senate Judiciary Committee and receive overwhelming support in the full Senate.

"I expect it will go to a [committee] vote, and I'm confident it will pass," Archambault says of the same-sex marriage bill introduced by state Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket).

Rhode Island State House
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The leadership of the state Senate Tuesday unveiled a legislative package of 25 bills meant to improve Rhode Island’s economy.

RI State House of Representatives
RIPR file

After a one-week winter break, the General Assembly gets back to work Tuesday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Feb 14, 2013

Most employers would not be able to ask job applicants about their criminal history under legislation being considered.  The Portsmouth Town Council has banned the feeding of coyotes. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.   

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb 12, 2013

Power is being restored to most of RI customers following this weekend's snow storm.  The State Senate votes on nominees for the new Board of Education.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

RI State Capitol
Kristin Gourlay

Four nominees for a new state Board of Education face a confirmation vote Tuesday by the full state Senate. They have already cleared a vote by the Senate Education Committee.
That committee is slated to take up the remaining seven nominees Wednesday.

School safety procedures dominate the agenda today at the State Senate Education Committee. Lawmakers say the discussion will feature State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, State Police Superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell and officials from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

The oversight hearing follows the shooting last month at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school that left 26 students and teachers dead.

Connecticut’s legislature is also slated to review school safety standards in the wake of the tragedy.