News

Courtesy of URI

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s signature plan for free tuition at Rhode Island public colleges has generated opposition. 

Just another quiet week in Rhode Island politics, right? Lots to chew on here, so 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.

RIPR File Photo

The Providence Housing Authority will no longer automatically disqualify housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say the longstanding policy hurt people trying to reenter society.

Under the new policy applicants for housing with a criminal history will be considered on a case by case basis. Old policy denied people with criminal histories up to ten years prior outright. The look-back period into an applicant’s background is now reduced from 10 years to five.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed announced Friday their opposition to Neil Gorsuch's U.S. Supreme Court nomination.

The move comes after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats announced their opposition to Gorsuch earlier this week.

Whitehouse shared many of his concerns about Gorsuch during a recent meeting in Providence.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management lifted its emergency shellfish closures Friday. The DEM reports parts of the Rhode Island Sound, lower Narragansett Bay, and lower Sakonnet River are no longer testing for high levels of domoic acid- a toxin harmful to humans.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP, joins Roundtable this week to discuss the transition in state Senate leadership, the impact that body cams might make on police-community relations, and Governor Raimondo's push for some good government measures.

Providence NAACP President Jim Vincent joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the state of race relations in America and much more, including marijuana legalization and how local cities and towns are faring in diversifying their workforce.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, the longest serving member of the Senate, won election Thursday as the new president of the chamber, succeeding Teresa Paiva Weed.

As first reported Tuesday by RI Public Radio, Ruggerio was poised to move quickly into the top position in the Senate, joined by Senate Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey as Warwick as the new majority leader.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Office of the Child Advocate has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four infants and the near deaths of two others over the past six months whose families were involved with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, or DCYF. The Advocate’s report finds the agency missed opportunities to prevent those deaths.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

R.I. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has hired political operative Joe Caiazzo to work on his 2018 reelection campaign. Caiazzo, a Stoneham, Mass. native, is no stranger to Rhode Island politics – he was a top campaign Rhode Island aide to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. In the general election, Caiazzo worked in Rhode Island for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders comfortably won the primary and Clinton easily carried the Ocean State in the general election.

RIPR File Photo

Sen. Jack Reed is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate ties between Russian interests and President Donald Trump’s campaign. Reed said in a statement that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California is too partisan to lead a credible probe into links between Russian interests and the president and his campaign advisers.

Victor Casale / Creative Commons License via flickr

The Providence Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meets Thursday. The group is expected to consider changes to policy that bars housing applicants with criminal convictions. Advocates say current policy is unfair.

Congerdesign / Creative Commons License Via Pixabay

State officials have released a draft of Rhode Island’s first comprehensive food plan. The strategy tackles food insecurity and seeks to market the state as a leader in various food industries.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New parents get involved in Family Court for different reasons – but usually because the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, or DCYF, believes their newborn is at risk. 

Ian Donnis

During an emotional farewell, state Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport announced Wednesday she's leaving the General Assembly after 24 years to become president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI).

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