PROVIDENCE, RI – A Chafee administration official says the development of casinos in Massachusetts would inevitably cut into gambling revenue in the Ocean State.
Massachusetts hopes to establish three casinos and a slot parlor. Rhode Island administration director Richard Licht says the time required to develop those projects gives the Ocean State breathing room. But he says a loss of gambling income in Rhode Island is unavoidable if Massachusetts moves forward.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's unemployment rate edged down slightly in August, but still remains a full percent-and-a-half higher than the national jobless rate.
The state Department of Labor and Training says it went from 10.8 percent in July to 10.6 percent in August. During the same period the number of unemployed residents - those classified as available for and actively seeking work - decreased by 1,500 to just under 60,000.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The University of Rhode Island is defending its decision to put a professor in the classroom even as he faces felony charges. John Dunn, a business professor, was charged last February with obtaining money under false pretenses.
URI Business Dean Mark Higgins says the department considers the charges serious but decided Dunn could still teach an introductory business course this year.
PROVIDENCE, RI – All week, the state's pension crisis has been grabbing headlines. First there was the contentious meeting of the pension advisory group, where union representative clashed with state officials.
The next day a superior court judge gave unions a victory on the issue of whether pensions are a contract. And then on Wednesday members of the general assembly met for yet another pension briefing.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold a series of public meetings next month on whether it will bring tolls back to the Mount Hope Bridge. The move has sparked one lawmaker to call for removing board members.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Brown President Ruth Simmons says she will step down at the end of the school year. The announcement may come as a disappointment to many Brown students.
Ruth Simmons is not only the first African American to lead an Ivy League university, she is a favorite among Brown students. They consistently give her high approval ratings and are even known to wear t-shirts emblazoned with her photograph.
PROVIDENCE, RI – State officials are nervously watching Bank of America, as the banking giant rolls out 30,000 layoffs. There's concern job cuts could come out of the bank's operations in East Providence and downtown Providence.
When Bank of America took over FleetBoston seven years ago, the bank added nearly a thousand jobs in Rhode Island. Bank of America's CEO Brian Moynihan is a Brown University grad who started his law career at a firm in Providence.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of Rhode Island's largest teacher training program is raising concerns about how teachers maintain their credentials. State officials want to tie teacher certification to a new evaluation system launching this year in public schools.
Rhode Island College School of Education Dean Sasha Sidorkin says that system is largely untested.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is co-sponsoring legislation that he says will save Social Security for 75 years without reducing benefits or raising the retirement age.The bill would raise the payroll tax for the wealthiest Americans.
Currently, income is taxed up to a maximum of $106,000 a year. The Whitehouse bill would apply the 6 percent tax to income over $250,000 a year.
Whitehouse says this would ensure the solvency of Social Security for the next three generations of retirees.