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
10:28 am
Wed August 14, 2013

RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority Yet To Establish Toll Collection Policy

A 10-cent toll will go into effect next Monday on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has not yet established a new policy for collecting the tolls.

The General Assembly set the new 10-cent toll in the closing days of the legislative session earlier this summer. Turnpike and Bridge Authority Chairman David Darlington said the authority needs to gather more information before making a new policy.

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Politics
8:52 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Conservative Group Praises Rhode Island's Pension Overhaul

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo has received praise for her work on pension reform from a conservative government group.
Credit RIPR FILE

A conservative group is praising Rhode Island for overhauling its state pension plan in 2011. The changes made to the plan remain the subject of a lawsuit in Superior Court.

In a new report, the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, praises Rhode Island for making significant changes to reduce its long-term pension obligations. The Virginia-based group calls the changes a contrast from states that hold hearings and organize study groups without taking action.

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RI News
9:15 am
Tue August 13, 2013

38 Studios Stress Caused Schilling Heart Problems

Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling says stress from 38 Studios’ business problems was part of why he suffered a heart attack in 2011.  Schilling revealed the health problem in an interview with the Boston Sunday Globe.

Schilling tells the Globe he experienced chest pains while watching his wife run in the New York Marathon in November 2011. That was seven months before 38 Studios went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for close to 100 million dollars. Schilling says he was treated after returning to Boston.

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RI News
8:32 am
Tue August 13, 2013

10-Cent Tolls Set to Begin on Sakonnet River Bridge

The Turnpike and Bridge Authority is scheduled to meet before the tolls go into effect next week.
Credit Courtesy RI DOT

The state is slated to begin charging a new 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge next Monday.  Yet it’s not exactly clear how the state will collect that money.

The General Assembly added the 10-cent toll, basically as a placeholder, at the end of the legislative session. The legislature took that action because the absence of a toll on the new span could prevent the state from adding one at a later date. State Rep John Edwards of Tiverton says the toll remains unpopular in the East Bay.

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RI News
8:24 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Rhode Island Continues To Celebrate 'Victory Day'

Rhode Island remains the only state in America to celebrate Victory Day, which commemorates Japanese surrender during WWII.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island will mark its annual Victory Day holiday Monday. The holiday marking the US victory over Japan in World War 2 is not without some controversy.

Rhode Island has for years been the only state to still celebrate what was once known as Victory Over Japan Day. Thanks to support from veterans and other defenders, the holiday has survived occasional attempts to rename or eliminate it.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

TGIF: 10 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my Friday politics + media column. As always, you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in.

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RIPR News
3:49 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Visitors Call Providence Nonviolence Program a Model

Visitors from Chicago and Newark, New Jersey, are completing on Friday a two-day visit examining the work of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

Christopher Mallette heads a three-year-old program called the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy. Mallette says the Chicago strategy, like the one in Providence, utilizes street workers who try to mediate disputes and prevent violent conflicts.

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Politics
8:23 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Good Government Groups Press Raimondo For Investment Transparency

Four groups are calling for more transparency of the hedge fund investments in the state's pensions.
Credit RIPR FILE

Four groups are calling on state Treasurer Gina Raimondo to release more information about hedge fund investments in Rhode Island’s pension plan.

The groups say they’re troubled by how Raimondo’s office, in a recent response to the Providence Journal, heavily redacted some details about the hedge fund investments. The four organizations are Common Cause of Rhode Island, the RI Press Association, and the state chapters of the ACLU and the League of Women Voters.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Political Roundtable: Almonte on 38 Studios, Hedge Funds + the GOP in 2014

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic candidate for treasurer Ernest Almonte joins the Roundtable to discuss lingering questions about 38 Studios; the state pension fund's stake in hedge funds; and how John Robitaille could remake the GOP field for governor in 2014.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Almonte on The Economy, The Race for Treasurer + More

Ernest Almonte joins Bonus Q+A to discuss why he's running for treasurer, his thoughts on economic development and more.

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