Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has repeatedly named him as one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. In addition to other tasks, Ian tweets frequently 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, and remains an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment. Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the Associated Press, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

Pages

On Politics
12:53 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Cianci Not Ruling Out a Run for Mayor in 2014

In contrast to a New York Times interview suggesting he doesn't plan on pursuing a comeback, Providence political legend Vincent A. Cianci Jr. says he hasn't ruled out a run for mayor next year.

"You never say never," Cianci said Friday afternoon, adding that he may not reveal his plans until the candidate filing deadline in June 2014. "That's when you'll know," he said.

Read more
Politics
8:41 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Republicans Hold Firm To Not Paying Back 38 Studios Bonds

The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House of Representatives is urging lawmakers to reject calls to pay back bonds for failed video game company 38 Studios.  Other state officials say a failure to pay back the bonds will hurt the state.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says the 6 Republicans in the House will unanimously oppose any effort to repay the 38 Studios bonds. He said legislative Democrats are rushing to judgment on the issue without having done their homework.

Read more
Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Political Roundtable: The Good and Bad of the House Budget, + More Debate on 38 Studios

Associated Press reporter David Klepper joins the Roundtable this week as discuss the budget passed this week by the House Finance Committee; debate over repaying bonds for 38 Studios; and some of the big unresolved issues facing the General Assembly.

Read more
On Politics
11:04 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Testimony: Independent Monitoring Promised to 38 Studios' Investors Wasn't Put in Place

Although investors in 38 Studios were promised prior to the closing of a $75 million state loan guaranty in 2010 that IBM would offer independent third-party monitoring of the company and its performance, IBM didn't sign a contract to provide that monitoring and independent oversight was never put in place, according to testimony presented last week to a legislative committee.

Read more
On Politics
2:50 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Superman Building Competing For State Office Space Contract

The owner of the vacant Industrial Trust Building -- aka the Superman Building -- submitted a bid in response to a state RFP for 70,000 to 80,000 square feet of office space.

Bill Fischer, a spokesman for High Rock Development, says the bid was submitted in time for a June 3 deadline. "We wanted to keep any and all options open," Fischer says. "We did respond," even though High Rock continues to believe that a residential conversion offers the best future for the historic structure.

Read more
On Politics
1:06 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Chafee Picks Cicilline Aide Fierro for RI Board of Review

Governor Lincoln Chafee has nominated Congressman David Cicilline's district director, Chris Fierro -- an early supporter of Chafee in 2010 -- to chair the Rhode Island Board of Review.

Fierro, a former state rep from Woonsocket with strong ties to labor, faces Senate confirmation. The governor's office says the job will pay between $77,810 and $88,177.

Per news release:

Read more
On Politics
11:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Block Calls RI's Budget Process "Completely Backwards"

Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block says the speed with which the House Finance Committee votes on an $8.2 billion budget -- just hours after learning the details -- is a backwards way of doing things.

As Block notes in a news release, Tuesday's committee vote on the budget stands in contrast to the typical hearing process:

Read more
Politics
7:27 am
Thu June 20, 2013

RI Cities and Towns Voice Concerns Over the Proposed State Budget

Advocates for Rhode Island’s cities and towns are criticizing the budget passed Tuesday by the House Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee cut a planned increase in state aid to local communities.

The Finance Committee cut back a hike in local aid proposed by Governor Lincoln Chafee in his budget. The associate head of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, Peder Schaefer, also serves on Woonsocket’s budget commission. He said the reduced aid will hurt struggling communities.

Read more
Politics
9:08 am
Wed June 19, 2013

House Republicans Refuse to Support State Budget Proposal

The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House says he plans to vote against the state budget next week since it includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ bonds.

GOP leader Brian Newberry was one of two reps abstaining Tuesday when the House Finance Committee approved an 8-point-two billion dollar budget. The spending plan is for the fiscal year starting July first.

Read more
Politics
8:52 am
Wed June 19, 2013

House Finance Committee Approves 2014 Budget

Chairman of the House Finance Committee Helio Melo.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee Tuesday passed an $8.2 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The spending plan doesn’t include any new broad-based taxes and wipes out some of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s initiatives.

With little debate, the budget passed its first hurdle on a 12-to-zero vote, with two Republican lawmakers abstaining. The spending plan reduces proposed help for distressed communities and eliminates Chafee’s plan to cut the corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over time. House Finance Chairman Helio Melo said lawmakers had to work with what they had.

Read more

Pages