RIPR FILE

Gov. Raimondo To Sign $8.7 Billion State Budget Into Law

Governor Gina Raimondo plans to sign the budget Tuesday for the state’s next fiscal year. The spending plan includes two of the governor’s top priorities. Governor Raimondo says the budget will help put people back to work, fix schools, and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island. The spending plan includes money for economic incentives meant to spark job growth, and it also cuts spending on the Medcaid subsidizied healthcare program for the poor. The General Assembly increased spending...
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Ian Donnis / RIPR

Scott MacKay Commentary: Raimondo, Assembly Must Break Road Repair Logjam

Every Rhode Islander knows our state’s roads and bridges need repairs. Yet lawmakers closed up shop at the General Assembly without taking action on a plan to raise the money via truck tolls. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what the General Assembly needs to do to pay for the needed fixes. Despite six collegial months, the General Assembly did not have a happy ending. The 2015 session crashed and amid the usual Smith Hill blame game. Several big issues were left without resolution,...
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Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Rhode Island Blood Center will lay off 60 people by this fall. That’s to help cover the cost of screening for a tick-borne disease that’s on the rise in Rhode Island: babesiosis.

Babesiosis  causes flu-like symptoms in some, but it can be life-threatening for the elderly or people with weak immune systems. It spreads through tick bites and blood transfusions. It's become the top transfusion-transmitted disease in the country, and it's endemic in Rhode Island.

This I Believe Rhode Island: Signs

2 hours ago

Many years ago my wife and I took a late afternoon hike in a nearby forest. We sauntered through the dense woods with our then-infant daughter nestled in the pack on my back.  We lost track of time and suddenly noticed that the sun was setting far earlier than we expected.  We were out of infant formula.  Despite our usually reliable sense of direction, we discovered we were truly lost in the forest.  Eventually we found our way out, but not without a sense of panic.  What a metaphor that experience became, teaching me about the profound importance of subtle signs in life’s proverbial forest, instincts shared by John Minahan.

John Minahan teaches English and Psychology at the Lincoln School in Providence.  Minahan is a former professional musician and college instructor who lives in Providence.  

Rhode Island motorists will pay a penny more per gallon of gas, beginning tomorrow (July 1), under tax changes announced by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.

The gas tax hike was due to an inflation indexing formula that the General Assembly approved in 2014.

Cigarette smokers will be paying an additional  25-cents per pack in Rhode Island taxes beginning August 1 under the budget for fiscal year 2016 approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island has been chosen as the site for the 2016 gymnastics championships, which feature more than 1,800 of the country’s best gymnasts.

The competition will be held from June 8th to 13th at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence. ``USA gymnastics is excited to bring one of our premier events to Providence,’’ said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The National Weather Service has issued a warning about dangerously strong rip-currents, also known as undertows. The hazardous surf is a leftover from the weekend’s stormy weather.

The storms on land may have quieted, but the water offshore is still dangerous, according to the National Weather Service. Rough surf has caused stronger-than average rip-currents.

Weather Service meteorologist Kimberly Buttrick said it typically takes one to two days for the coastal waters to calm after heavy rains.

RIPR FILE

The New England Fishery Management Council made the right move recently, voting to ask the federal government to suspend an at-sea monitoring program required of the groundfish industry, according to long-time fisherman Fred Mattera, who said shifting the cost to fishermen could decimate the industry.

Mattera, who was a commercial fisherman for 40 years, said fishermen already have to deal with quota cutbacks and depressed prices for locally caught fish. 

Elisabeth Harrison

After months of anticipation, the General Assembly failed to pass a single bill related to charter schools.

That's good news if you're in the charter school world. It means lawmakers failed to reach agreement on bills that would place new restrictions on the expansion of charter schools and reopen the state funding formula to reduce money for charter schools.

Never a dull moment around here, as the 2015 General Assembly session screeched to a dramatic close this week. Thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you follow me through the week on the Twitters. Here we go.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave sit down with Sylvia Maxfield, dean of the Providence College School of Business.

Maxfield says lawmakers' quick passage of the budget sends a message that Rhode Island is serious about turning around the economy. She also discusses what makes her believe this budget is "pro jobs" and "pro business."

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed says the focus should be intelligence after a terrorist attack at an American gas company in France. The attack included an explosion that killed one person and injured about a dozen others.

"What you’re seeing are these lone wolf attacks," Reed said. "Very difficult to disrupt because there’s not a lot of hierarchical organization. It’s an individual one or two, who are self-radicalized in many cases."

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