Teresa Paiva Weed

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Advocates for the poor gathered in the Statehouse rotunda Wednesday to appeal to lawmakers to address poverty as they begin a new legislative session. The coalition of faith leaders in attendance hope lawmakers will adopt several policy initiatives to fight homelessness and increase assistance for the poor.

RIPR FILE

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.

The gifts have been unwrapped, the eggnog raised, and now it's quick sprint to New Year's before the start of a new phase in Rhode Island politics. So thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to share tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) or to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.

During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport is poised to be elected next month to her fourth term as president of the Rhode Island Senate. Paiva Weed recently sat down in her Statehouse office to talk about her priorities for 2015 and other issues.

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