Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets at @IanDon, hosts RIPR’s weekly Political Roundtable, and contributes to the station’s On Politics blog.

He was for many years a regular panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations.

Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

Ways to Connect

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. It's Memorial Day weekend, so it's a good time to remember the sacrifices of others. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. This week's column is shorter than usual due to a long day at the office. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Vice President Joe Biden came to East Providence on Friday to hail the RhodeWorks bridge-repair plan signed into law earlier this year.

Biden says investing in infrastructure shows leadership and offers a variety of benefits.

Governor Gina Raimondo has been in office for almost 18 months. She stopped by our studio Thursday to talk about a range of issues, including today’s visit to Rhode Island by Vice President Joe Biden.

For more conversation with the governor, check our Political Roundtable segment.

Marc Nozell/Flickr

Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Rhode Island Friday to highlight the state’s plan to fix bridges rated among the worst in the nation. Biden will speak at a DOT maintenance facility in East Providence.

Governor Gina Raimondo said she invited Vice President Biden to come to Rhode Island after meeting him at a National Governors Association meeting earlier this year.

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to talk about the heightened focus on good government, the outlook for improving Rhode Island's economy, and efforts to improve the skills of Rhode Island workers.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s plan for revising the awarding legislative community service grants will emerge in about a week. Mattiello acknowledges the grants have become a political mess.

The resignation earlier this month of House Finance Chairman Ray Gallsion sparked scrutiny of the community service grants. The state is giving out $11 million in the grants to nonprofit groups this year.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and a string of state representatives on Tuesday excoriated a front page Providence Sunday Journal editorial about community service grants that was published last weekend, saying it misrepresented the legislative process and was based on false assumptions.

The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday found probable cause that Don Lally violated the revolving door provisions of the code of ethics when he accepted a state job less than four months after resigning as a state representative in March 2015.

Commission spokesman Jason Gramitt called the finding a preliminary step, since Lally -- barring a settlement -- will face a hearing with the Ethics Commission.

Local historian Patrick Conley is defending using an envisioned new state lottery game to help develop a Rhode Island history center in Bristol, although a former state official calls the funding approach misguided and fiscally irresponsible.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Islanders considering running for public office have an upcoming opportunity to learn about campaign fundamentals. The non-partisan good government group Operation Clean Government is staging its latest “Candidate School” on June 4 at Rhode Island College. The head of Operation Clean Government, Margaret Kane, stopped by our studio to discuss the event.

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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Sen. Gayle Goldin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the process for reviewing legislative community grants; the move to strengthen the state Ethics Commission; and state Rep. Karen MacBeth's decision to end her congressional campaign.

State Sen. Gayle Goldin (D-Providence) joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss a range of issues, including the current mood of Rhode Islanders; whether the state should legalize marijuana, her stance on the line-item veto; and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers have a little more cash to work with as they consider revisions to the almost $9 billion state budget unveiled by Governor Gina Raimondo in February.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee on Tuesday began four days of hearings on the more than $11 million in community service grants being distributed by the state this year.