On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

The General Assembly session is over, the budget is signed, yet politics never takes a holiday. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and your can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Friday signed the $8.9 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, calling it a "terrific" plan that will position Rhode Island for economic growth.

During a Statehouse signing ceremony, the governor applauded the General Assembly, particularly House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, for including the vast majority of her initiatives in the spending plan. She acknowledged Rhode Island still has a significant need for more jobs.

Cranston Republican Steven Frias hopes to ride a wave of dissatisfaction with Rhode Island's status quo to unseat House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, often referred to the most powerful elected official in the state.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo took questions from reporters Wednesday, during the latest in a series of occasional lunches with the media at the state Department of Administration cafeteria. Here's a look at the highlights:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 2-0 margin, the Providence Board of Canvassers voted Tuesday to hold another hearing to examine whether state Rep. John Carnevale resides at his listed address in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo's chief of staff, Stephen Neuman, and her communications director, Joy Fox, are leaving the governor's office.

Neuman will work his last day Friday. He's joining Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as a senior adviser in Michigan.

Ann-Marie Fink, who oversees Rhode Island's almost $8 billion pension fund as the state's chief investment officer, is leaving Treasury for a private sector job, RIPR has learned.

Fink was hired during Governor Raimondo's tenure as state treasurer, starting on the job in January 2013. Fink succeeded Kenneth Goodreau, who left for a private sector job with TIG Advisors after four years as the state's top investment officer.

Fink did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

John Bender / RIPR

Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is winding down. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what’s next for the Vermont senator and the movement he and his followers built. 

Capitol TV

The state Senate passed early Saturday an $8.9 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, and sleepy lawmakers pushed their final session of 2016 past sunrise before calling it quits.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Voters will decide this November whether to restore state Ethics Commission oversight of state lawmakers. This comes after the House and Senate voted unanimously Thursday to put the question to voters.

After a seven-year impasse, momentum for strengthening the Ethics Commission picked up after former House Finance chairman Ray Gallison resigned in April. He remains part of an ongoing and unspecified law enforcement probe.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

WLNE-TV, ABC6, is launching a new Sunday morning public affairs show, In the Arena, hosted by former Providence mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr., RIPR has learned.

The first installment of the show is slated for this weekend, with longtime Democratic fundraiser Mark Weiner joining Paolino as a guest.

Former Chafee staffer Amy Rice; Josh Fenton, co-founder of GoLocalProv.com; former deputy secretary of state Ray Rickman; and former lieutenant governor Thomas DiLuglio are slated to join the show as weekly panelists, according to Beryl Kenyon, a Paolino spokeswoman.

Dan Beardsley, one of the most candid, colorful and hard-working of all Rhode Island Statehouse lobbyists, is retiring as executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, which represents the interests of municipalities across the state.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The House and Senate Judiciary Committees on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow voters to restore state Ethics Commission oversight of state lawmakers.

General Assembly photo

State Rep. John Carnevale (D-Providence), vice chairman of the House Finance Committee, faces questions about whether he’s been living outside his legislative district.

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