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
8:21 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Future of the EDC Remains Unclear as Economic Bills Pass in the House

House Finance chairman Helio Melo speaks in support of the House's economic development package.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

By overwhelming margins, the Rhode Island House of Representatives Tuesday passed a half-dozen bills to change the state’s approach to economic development.

One bill would try to create a more streamlined effort through a new Executive Office of Commerce. Another bill replaces the state Economic Development Corporation with a Commerce Corporation headed by a secretary of commerce. 

It is not yet clear precisely how the state will move forward.

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On Politics
11:07 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Support Grows for Defaulting on $100M Taxpayer Tab Over 38 Studios

The debate is intensifying over whether Rhode Island should default on the roughly $100 million owed by taxpayers due to the state's losing investment in failed video game-maker 38 Studios.

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Politics
10:44 am
Tue June 4, 2013

RIPEC Urges the General Assembly to be More Amenable to Business in RI

RIPEC is urging lawmakers to restructure the way the state goes about economic development.
Credit file / RIPR

A business-backed advocacy group says Rhode Island needs to make fundamental changes to strengthen its economy.  The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council is urging support for legislation this week to reshape the state’s approach.

The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, RIPEC, said lower than expected state revenue is a sign of continued weakness in Rhode Island’s economy. In contrast to Massachusetts, the Ocean State has yet to regain the peak number of jobs that existed before the recession.

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Politics
10:26 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Lincoln Chafee and Gordon Fox at Odds Over EDC

The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected, this Tuesday, to approve a package of bills reshaping the state’s approach to economic development.  House Speaker Gordon Fox and Governor Lincoln Chafee differ on how to move forward.

One of the House bills would replace the state Economic Development Corporation with a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. It would establish a secretary of commerce, with the idea of making one person responsible for pursuing economic development.

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On Politics
10:22 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Speaker Fox, Former Ballplayer Baldelli Hosting Fundraiser for Baldelli-Hunt

House Speaker Gordon Fox and former MLB standout Rocco Baldelli are co-hosting a June 11 kickoff/fundraiser for state Representative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's Woonsocket mayoral campaign.

In a letter for the event at the Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, Fox writes:

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On Politics
4:26 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

TGIF: 11 Things to Know About RI Politics + Media (Chafee Switch Edition)

While Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat might be utterly unsurprising to some, the governor's move nonetheless scrambled the landscape for what already looked like a riveting election fight next year. That's why Chafee leads my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (and) org  and to follow me on Twitter. Let's go:

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On Politics
1:40 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Langevin Hires Meg Fraser as his New Press Secretary

Meg Fraser, editor in chief for the Cranston Herald and Johnston Sun newspapers, has gotten the nod as US Representative Jim Langevin's press secretary, succeeding Jonathon Dworkin, who recently left for another job. She starts June 24.

Via news release:

[Fraser] is also Editor of PrimeTime magazine, a senior living publication.  She received a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2008.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Political Roundtable: O'Neill on Chafee's Change, Economic Development + the House

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket) joins the Roundtable this week (along with guest panelist Dan McGowan of WPRI-TV, Channel 12) to discuss Governor Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat; the way forward for economic development, and legislative questions.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Bonus Q+A: O'Neill on Being an Outsider in the RI House of Reps

State Representative J. Patrick O'Neill (D-Pawtucket) joins us on Bonus Q+A to talk about his split with House Speaker Gordon Fox's leadership team and other legislative issues.

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On Politics
12:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

It's official: Gov. Lincoln Chafee is a Democrat

Chafee goes Democrat, aided by Dotty McCarthy, at Warwick City Hall.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee, who rose to public attention as the son of an iconic moderate Republican and left the GOP amid the rightward movement of George W. Bush's presidency, on Thursday became a Democrat.

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