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.

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RI News
9:43 am
Mon March 23, 2015

State Retirees Slated To Vote On Proposed Pension Settlement

Retired public employees are slated to vote Monday on a proposed settlement to the state pension dispute. The voting is expected to take place starting at 10 at the Twin River event center.

The retirees are just one in a series of union groups that need to approve the settlement. At least some active workers face a deadline of voting on the deal by Friday.

The process for approving or rejecting the settlement is shrouded in secrecy. That’s because a judge imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from talking about it.

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On Politics
5:02 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

TGIF: 20 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Happy spring (although it may not feel like it for days, if not weeks), and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me on the twitters. Let's head in.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Political Roundtable: Raimondo on Her Budget, Jobs & the Pension Dispute

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her budget proposal, efforts to reinvent Medicaid, the pension dispute and much more.

You can hear more from Governor Raimondo in our Bonus Q+A segment.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Bonus Q+A: Raimondo on Economic Development, the PawSox, Medicaid & More

Governor Gina Raimondo joins us on Bonus Q+A this week to discuss Rhode Island's economy, changing Medicaid, a possible Providence ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and much more.

You can hear more of our conversation with Governor Raimondo in our Political Roundtable segment. 

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On Politics
6:06 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Supporters, Opponents Square Off On Raising RI's $2.89 Sub-Minimum Wage

Bartender/server Kate Conroy calls the sub-minimum wage a poverty wage.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new coalition held a Statehouse news conference Thursday to press for an increase in the state’s $2.89 sub-minimum wage. Supporters call this a matter of fairness, since the sub-minimum wage hasn’t changed in 20 years. But the restaurant industry says higher wages would lead to higher food prices.

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Politics
9:00 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A Deeper Look Into Rhode Island's Possible Pension Settlment

Public employee unions may be one step closer to accepting a pension settlement.
Credit RIPR FILE

Public employees in Rhode Island are scheduled to vote next week on a proposed deal to settle a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s pension overhaul.  The settlement could save the state as much as $4 billion dollars in payments to retired state employees.  It could also have benefits for union members.  Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis talks details with RIPR's Elisabeth Harrison.

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On Politics
2:02 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

RI ACLU Sues DEA on Eil's Behalf; Seeks Release of Documents in Major Drug-Prescription Trial

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the case of former Providence Phoenix news editor Phil Eil, suing the US Drug Enforcement Administration to try to gain the release of thousands of pages of court documents in a major drug-prescription trial.

The ACLU said Eil has been stymied for more than three years in trying to obtain the documents.

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On Politics
6:14 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Rep Lally Resigns; Susan Cicilline Buonanno Wants to Succeed Him

Representative Donald Lally (D-Narragansett), the second-longest serving member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, announced his resignation on Tuesday. A short time later, Susan Cicilline Buonanno, the sister of US Representative David Cicilline, unveiled her candidacy for the seat being vacated by Lally.

The special election to replace Lally has been scheduled for June 9 by Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

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On Politics
5:56 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Raimondo Backs Possible Pension Settlement "On the Right Terms"

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Tuesday said she'll continue to back a settlement to high-stakes pension litigation "on the right terms to the state."

As state treasurer, Raimondo spearheaded the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system that shaved about $4 billion from the state's long-term obligations., The savings were achieved by raising retirement ages, suspending cost of living adjustments and moving workers from a defined benefit plan to a hybrid defined contribution plan.

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Politics
8:46 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Twin River Casino To Make Case For Onsite Hotel

Twin River Casino is proposing a four story hotel on its Lincoln campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on a bill that would clear the path for a hotel to be built at Twin River in Lincoln. The casino was banned from building a hotel as part of a law passed in 2005.

Twin River says a hotel will help it compete, as the casino faces growing competition from new gambling facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Gambling is Rhode Island’s third-largest source of state revenue, and out of state casinos could cut the Ocean State’s annual revenue by up to $100 million.

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