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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Politics
10:15 am
Fri March 13, 2015

State Republicans React To Gov. Raimondo's First Budget Proposal

Republican Representative of Foster, Michael Chippendale, responds to the governor's proposed budget.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A top legislative Republican praised Governor Gina Raimondo for expressing an optimistic message in her budget address last night. But Foster Representative Michael Chippendale said the state GOP also has a number of concerns about Raimondo’s spending plan.

“While it was stated that there were no broad-based tax increases, we do see some that we do not find particularly attractive, particularly the HealthSource Rhode Island example,” said Chippendale.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Political Roundtable: Marion On The Fight For Reform, Quasi-Publics & Raimondo's Budget

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Common Cause of Rhode Island executive director John Marion joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the fight for reform after guilty pleas last week by former House speaker Gordon Fox; Governor Gina Raimondo's first budget; and Ken Block's study on the cost of fire services in RI.

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On Politics
10:38 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Raimondo Unveils $8.6 Billion "Jobs" Budget; Assumptions Include $90M in Medicaid Savings

Raimondo makes her way to the House rostrum before delivering her budget address.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday touted her $8.6 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 as a plan that will begin the rejuvenation of Rhode Island's economy.

At the same time, some parts of the spending plan rely on uncertainties, including $46 million in unspecified Medicaid savings and the wiping out of millions of dollars in un-budgeted pay hikes promised to state employees during the Chafee administration.

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On Politics
7:18 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Raimondo's Budget Challenge: Eliminate $190M Deficit While Boosting RI's Economy

Governor Raimondo gave a brief preview of her budget on Wednesday.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island faces a big financial gap as Governor Gina Raimondo prepares to unveil her first budget Thursday. State law requires a balanced spending plan, and Raimondo has pledged to improve Rhode Island’s economy while wiping out the red ink. But that will be no easy task.

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RI News
7:41 am
Wed March 11, 2015

New Report Finds Fire Service Costs Substantially Higher In The Ocean State

Former Gubernatorial candidate Ken Block has unveiled a new good government group, Watchdog RI.
Credit RIPR FILE

A new study shows that per-capita fire service costs are higher in Rhode Island than other parts of the country.

Research by former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block indicates a $350 per capita cost for fire services in the Providence area. By comparison, the per capita cost in Dallas is just $173. Phoenix spends about $210 per person.

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On Politics
3:17 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Raimondo Calls On General Assembly To Hike Minimum Wage To $10.10

Raimondo speaks while flanked by the UFCW's Riley and the AFL-CIO's George Nee.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

During an appearance Monday at United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 328, Governor Gina Raimondo called on the General Assembly to raise Rhode Island's $9 minimum wage to $10.10, effective in January.

"What we're here today to talk about is a concrete way that we can spark the comeback of Rhode Island and Rhode Island's economy, by putting money in the pockets of hardworking Rhode Islanders," Raimondo said, speaking before a group of union members. "That's what today is about."

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Politics
8:45 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Pension Could Be On The Chopping Block For Former Lawmaker Martineau

The state Retirement Board is slated Wednesday to consider revoking a pension for a former legislative leader convicted of corruption. Gerard Martineau was sentenced to more than three years in prison for his crimes.

Martineau pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges that he used his influence to help the CVS drug store chain and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island while doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with them. Martineau, a Woonsocket Democrat served 15 years in the House, rising to the number two position of majority leader.

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On Politics
4:51 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

TGIF: 17 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Talk about a full Rhode Island. Gordon Fox pleads guilty, Gerry Martineau wants his legislative pension, the state Supreme Court green-lights an April start for the pension trial, and Governor Gina Raimondo is set to unveil her first budget on Thursday. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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Political Roundtable
9:33 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Bonus Q&A: Chippendale on 38 Studios, School Choice, Budget Cuts & More

State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) joined Bonus Q+A this week to discuss 38 Studios, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, the outlook for cutting the state budget, and much more.

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Politics
9:25 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Bill To Tamp Down On Corruption Not Enough According To Good Government Group

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has introduced a bill to tamp down on corruption, but good government group, Common Cause of RI, says more needs to be done.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

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