State Senator Harold Metts joins us for our Bonus Q+A segment to talk about education policy, disproportionately high unemployment for minorities, and what it's like to be racially profiled while serving in the General Assembly.
State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.
State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) says the stigma of prison is so severe for former inmates that it's virtually impossible for them to find work after serving their time. He calls that a contributor to the disproportionately high rate of unemployment for minorities in poor parts of the capital city.
“The rate of incarceration is a big factor in the unemployment in certain parts of my district, because once you get that jail record, it ends up being a lifetime sentence, because you can’t get a job.”
Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett, who was among the earliest to emerge as a prospective candidate for secretary of state in 2014, says he'll decide by month's end whether to pursue a campaign for that office.
The field of potential candidates for SoS has changed considerably since Hassett's interest was first reported in mid-2011.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.
The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, a taxpayer advocacy group, is renaming itself as RI Taxpayers. Moderate Party founder Ken Block is signing on as president of the group, Donna Perry is continuing as its executive director, Lisa Blais will serve as lobbyist, and Anchor Rising blogger Monique Chartier will edit the daily e-mail newsletter.
The Rhode Island General Assembly is back in session and in less than a month The House has already taken a historic vote to approve same-sex marriage. While it’s unclear what will happen to that controversial measure in the Senate, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says there’s one hot button issue lawmakers ought to stay away from.
The mediation aimed at settling a legal challenge by a series of unions to the state pension overhaul of 2011 is set to continue through the month of February.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter met Friday morning with the two sides in the case, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. "They are going to continue to mediate," Berke said, adding that Taft-Carter is scheduled to get another update on February 28.
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo lived up to her reputation as a high-flying political fundraiser in 2012, closing the year with an increase of more than $1 million in her campaign account.
Raimondo's Q4 report shows her with a balance of $1,359,191. That's an increase of $1,049,153 from where her campaign account stood ($310,038) at the start of 2012. It also puts her considerably ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who closed 2012 with a balance of $413,283 (a gain of $288,148 from the start of the year).