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.

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Politics
8:54 am
Wed June 26, 2013

No State Budget Approved in the House of Reps

House Speaker Gordon Fox (right) confers with Finance chairman Helio Melo and Whip Stephen Ucci at the House of Representatives 2014 budget session.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a development unheard of in recent history, the Rhode Island House of Representations ended a 10-hour budget session Wednesday without approving a spending plan. The budget remains 13 million dollars out of balance due to a rare defeat for House leaders.

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Politics
9:03 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Lack of Independent Monitoring Factored Into 38 Studios Debacle

Legislative testimony shows that independent monitoring wasn’t put in place for 38 Studios before bonds were sold to fund the ill-fated video company.  The state Economic Development Corporation told investors that IBM would perform third-party monitoring of 38 Studios.

The issue of independent monitoring was discussed during a House Oversight Committee meeting earlier this month. In a document similar to a prospectus, the EDC told investors it hired IBM in September 2010 to monitor 38 Studios’ performance.

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Politics
8:47 am
Tue June 25, 2013

House of Representatives Set To Debate the 2014 State Budget

The Rhode Island House of Representatives are set to debate the 2014 state budget.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island House of Representations is set to begin debating Tuesday an 8-billion-dollar budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  The budget includes two and a half million dollars to repay bonds for failed video game maker 38 Studios.

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On Politics
5:20 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

TGIF: 9 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

The General Assembly heads into the home stretch, with a House budget vote set for Tuesday. On that note, welcome back to my weekly column. Your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (org), and follow me on Twitter. Here we go:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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