On Politics
4:46 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Marcello On Fallout From the Speaker Fight

Marcello (right) during the speaker vote on March 25.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate), who lost the battle last month to succeed Gordon Fox as House speaker, says he's unsure if members of the faction that backed him will try to increase their numbers by supporting primary challengers this September.

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RI News
3:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

State Employee Unions Agree On Tentative New Contract

Unions representing nearly all state workers have tentatively agreed to a new contract.

The unions representing every state worker except correctional officers and state police have agreed to a contract that increases wages by six percent over four years and increases health care deductibles and co-pays.

State employees have gone nearly three years without a raise.

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On Politics
2:28 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Solomon Raises $137K+ in Q1; War Chest Tops $600K

City Council President Michael Solomon has continued his pacesetting fundraising among Providence mayoral candidates, collecting more than $137,000 in the first quarter of 2014 to push his war chest past the $600,000 mark.

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Engineer's Corner
1:11 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

TheEC: Heartbleed and Donations to RIPR

The big news in computing this week is Heartbleed, a serious security problem with secure websites.   Specifically, it's a two-year-old bug in the near-ubitiquous OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol...most commonly recognized when there's a "https" (instead of "http") at the beginning of a website address.

It's a big problem, and I'll explain why in a second, but first I wanted to let everyone know that the RIPR donations website is secure and never was vulnerable to Heartbleed.   They use a hardware-based implementation of SSL, not OpenSSL.

So if you have donated or plan to donate to RIPR, you have nothing to worry about in regards to Heartbleed and that donation.  Whew!

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On Politics
9:17 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Brown Poll Shows Raimondo and Taveras Locked In A Virtual Tie

The race to pick Rhode Island's next governor is still up for grabs.

A new Brown University poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidates Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo locked in a virtual dead heat, with Clay Pell lagging behind in the race. The poll (albeit from a tiny sample size of 86 somewhat or very likely GOP voters) shows a similar scenario with Republicans Ken Block and Allan Fung.

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Pension Overhaul
9:09 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Republican Party Wants Pension Dispute Settled In Court

The Rhode Island Republican Party is backing up the GOP’s two gubernatorial candidates in saying that the state pension dispute should be resolved in court.  Two of the state’s leading Democrats still support the push for a settlement between the two sides

A proposed pension settlement unveiled in February was cast in doubt Monday when one of six groups that have to offer initial approval rejected the deal. State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said he agrees with his party’s gubernatorial candidates that the pension conflict should be decided in court.

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General Assembly
8:46 am
Thu April 10, 2014

House Oversight Committee Meets For First Time With New Leadership

The House Oversight Committee meets for the first time since its leadership change.
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

The House Oversight Committee will hold its first meeting Thursday since recently getting a new chairwoman.  The new chair has been a sharp critic of paying back bondholders who invested in failed video game company 38 Studios.

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.

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Annie Russell is VPR's weekend producer. She has interned for NPR at Weekends on All Things Considered and for WNYC at On The Media.  She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. She loves the Boston Celtics unconditionally.

On Politics
5:20 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Taveras & Raimondo Campaigns Trade Shots on the Pension Settlement

In a preview of things to come as Rhode Island's Democratic primary grows more intense, the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo are trading sharp jabs over the handling of the high-stakes state pension conflict.

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Health Care
2:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause

Seniors with Medicare Advantage have more flexibility to opt out of plans, thanks to new rules.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.

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