Nick Mattiello http://ripr.org en House Speaker Mattiello Claims Improvement on RI's Business Climate http://ripr.org/post/house-speaker-mattiello-claims-improvement-ris-business-climate <p></p><p>House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Ian Donnis 36127 at http://ripr.org House Speaker Mattiello Claims Improvement on RI's Business Climate Mattiello: Cianci's Effect on RI's Image is For Voters to Decide http://ripr.org/post/mattiello-ciancis-effect-ris-image-voters-decide <p></p><p>House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.</p><p>"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:15:03 +0000 Ian Donnis 36089 at http://ripr.org Mattiello: Cianci's Effect on RI's Image is For Voters to Decide The General Assembly Passes Newport Casino Plan, Calls It A Wrap for 2014 http://ripr.org/post/general-assembly-passes-newport-casino-plan-calls-it-wrap-2014 <p></p><p>In a marathon session that stretched for almost 12 hours before ending shortly after 4 am, the General Assembly closed its 2014 session by approving a plan that could turn Newport Grand into a casino, imposing a three-year moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement,&nbsp; and setting the stage for Governor Lincoln Chafee to sign a bill making calamari Rhode Island's official state appetizer.</p> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:22:48 +0000 Ian Donnis 35572 at http://ripr.org The General Assembly Passes Newport Casino Plan, Calls It A Wrap for 2014 RI government and Providence get good credit ratings http://ripr.org/post/ri-government-and-providence-get-good-credit-ratings <p>Some good news on the Wall Street front for the credit ratings of the state and the city of Providence.</p><p>Standard &amp; Poor’s rating agency has affirmed the state’s credit rating and removed Rhode Island government from its CreditWatch list after the General Assembly voted to pay the $12 million installment on the state-backed bonds that financed the ill-fated 38 Studios video game fiasco.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:27:24 +0000 Scott MacKay 35532 at http://ripr.org TGIF: 12 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media http://ripr.org/post/tgif-12-things-know-about-rhode-island-politics-media-26 <p>Welcome back to my Friday column. You know summer isn't far behind when a budget emerges in the General Assembly and gubernatorial candidates increasingly take to the airwaves. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week<a href="https://twitter.com/IanDon"> on the twitters</a>. Let's get to it.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 20:16:05 +0000 Ian Donnis 34788 at http://ripr.org URI, RIC, CCRI winners in House budget proposal http://ripr.org/post/uri-ric-ccri-winners-house-budget-proposal <p>After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island, &nbsp;the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.</p><p>In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:10:57 +0000 Scott MacKay 34775 at http://ripr.org Mattiello, DeSimone Set for NYC Meetings with Moody's & S&P http://ripr.org/post/mattiello-desimone-set-nyc-meetings-moodys-sp <p>House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Majority Leader John DeSimone plan to meet with representatives of two leading credit-rating agencies in New York City Wednesday to gather information about the possible consequences of not paying back bondholders in the failed video game company 38 Studios.</p> Tue, 20 May 2014 17:01:53 +0000 Ian Donnis 33860 at http://ripr.org House Oversight Committee Meets For First Time With New Leadership http://ripr.org/post/house-oversight-committee-meets-first-time-new-leadership <p>The House Oversight Committee will hold its first meeting Thursday since recently getting a new chairwoman.&nbsp; The new chair has been a sharp critic of paying back bondholders who invested in failed video game company 38 Studios.</p><p></p><p>After winning his post last month, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello ousted his rival for the speakership, Michael Marcello, from the chairmanship of House Oversight. He replaced Marcello with Representative Karen MacBeth of Cumberland, who sharply criticized last year’s payment to bondholders in 38 Studios.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:46:42 +0000 Ian Donnis 31831 at http://ripr.org House Oversight Committee Meets For First Time With New Leadership Former Rep. Peter Wasylyk heads back to RI Statehouse http://ripr.org/post/former-rep-peter-wasylyk-heads-back-ri-statehouse <p>On occasion the best way to pick up Rhode Island political tidbits is to head to Boston, specifically to Fenway Park on the afternoon of the home opener, aka the Big Papi show.</p><p>As usual, former Providence Democratic state and devout Sawx fan Rep. Peter Wasylyk was in his seat near the first base line cheering on the team. During a brief conversation, he confirmed that he is going back to the Statehouse to become legal counsel to the new House Majority Leader, Rep. John DeSimone, D-North Providence.</p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 17:36:42 +0000 Scott MacKay 31585 at http://ripr.org Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Try Something New On Smith Hill? http://ripr.org/post/scott-mackay-commentary-time-try-something-new-smith-hill <p>The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island Statehouse. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.</p><p></p><p></p><p>Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:47:05 +0000 Scott MacKay 31283 at http://ripr.org Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Try Something New On Smith Hill?