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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On Politics
12:02 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Raimondo Picks Maryland Official Steve Neuman as Chief Of Staff

Governor-elect Gina M. Raimondo has picked Stephen S. Neuman, director of public affairs for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as her chief of staff.

“I am excited to have Steve help lead my team as we work to move Rhode Island forward," Raimondo said in a statement. “His experience working for governors in Maryland, North Carolina and Missouri will be invaluable as we work to find new and creative solutions here.”

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Politics
8:39 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Judge OK's Jury Trial, Sets Date For RI Pension Overhaul Case

If the state pension overhaul is settled in mediation it will have to go back to the General Assembly for approval.
Credit File / RIPR

A legal observer says he expects the legal dispute over a 2011 overhaul of the state pension system to be settled out of court.

Roger Williams University Law School dean Michael Yelnosky said he’s fairly optimistic about the outlook for a settlement. “For a couple of reasons: one, they came so very close before; there continue to be lots of good reasons to settle on both sides,” said Yelnosky.

Efforts to settle the pension dispute fell apart in April when one of six plaintiff groups rejected a proposed deal.

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On Politics
5:04 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

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

The pre-holiday slowdown is descending on the land, but there's still plenty of interesting stuff going on, naturally. So thanks for stopping by and feel free to send me a note at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Political Roundtable: Raimondo on Jobs, RI's Deficits & Working With the General Assembly

Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her pre-inaugural focus, plans for confronting budget deficits, how she'll work with the General Assembly, and more.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Bonus Q&A: Raimondo on Staffing Up, Investing in Education, the Pension Dispute & More

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A to talk about the ongoing state pension dispute, HealthSourceRI, CVS' decision to develop a new technology center in Boston, the Rhode Map controversy, and more.

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On Politics
6:36 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Matt Jerzyk Joins Speaker Mattiello's Staff As Deputy Legal Counsel

Longtime political operative and staffer Matt Jerzyk has been hired as deputy legal counsel by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

"Matt's experience in city and state government will be a valuable addition as we continue to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs," Mattiello said in a statement.

Jerzyk will continue serving as the part-time city solicitor in Central Falls. He previously served as legal counsel for the House committees on Labor and Small Business, and as senior legal counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

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Politics
9:18 am
Thu November 20, 2014

House Finance Committee To Review State Budget

The House Finance Committee will review the state budget Thursday.
Credit RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to meet Thursday to review the condition of state budget. The state will face a deficit for the next fiscal year.

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Politics
8:59 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Government Watchdog Group Weighs In On Unregistered Lobbying

Common Cause of Rhode Island director John Marion
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A local government watchdog group thinks stiffer penalties are needed to discourage the practice of unregulated lobbying.   

The Associated Press reported this week that former Attorney General Patrick Lynch has lobbied his former office several times without registering as a lobbyist. Lynch told the AP his actions didn’t amount to lobbying.

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Politics
7:40 am
Wed November 19, 2014

"Depoliticize" Judicial Nominating Process Says Former Good Government Leader

Rhode Island Superior Court building
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A former government watchdog says governors and state legislators have weakened efforts meant to depoliticize the selection of judges.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was created 20 years ago to try to lessen the General Assembly’s influence on picking judges. The JNC is supposed to choose 3 to 5 highly qualified candidates, and the legislature is expected to act quickly once a governor picks a judge. But former Common Cause head Phil West said governors and lawmakers have fouled up the process.

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Phil West On Two Decades Of "Secrets & Scandals" In Rhode Island

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

H. Philip West Jr. served as the executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island for almost 20 years before stepping down in 2006. His tenure coincided with corruption in Governor Edward DiPrete’s administration, the state banking crisis, and high-profile battles over the Ethics Commission. West has turned his two decades observing Ocean State politics into a 684-page book called “Secrets and Scandals.” Rhode Island Public Radio Reporter Ian Donnis sat down with West to discuss the book and how much Rhode Island has changed.

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