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.

Ways to Connect

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Providence) joins Political Roundtable to discuss mass shootings; the politics of judicial selection; and Governor Raimondo's truck-toll plan.

State Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Providence) joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss the debate over Syrian refugees, education funding, Providence finances, and much more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Wednesday harshly criticized the absence of any Republican lawmakers on a school funding formula working group, as well as how Governor Gina Raimondo handled the response to his request to include a GOP representative.

RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to get an update on the state budget Wednesday. The committee will hear about state departments with higher than expected spending.

The good news is that the state is expected to close the current fiscal year next June with a surplus of $51 million.

But some state departments overspend their budgets each year, for a variety of reasons. The Department of Corrections, for example, says there’s no way to predict how many inmates have to be housed at the ACI.

Jim Seveny campaign website

Democrat Jim Seveney and Republican John Pagliarni Jr. came out on top in a special primary election Tuesday for a vacant seat in the Rhode Island state Senate. Seven candidates were in the running for the District 11 seat.

Seveney easily repulsed his main opponent on the Democratic side of the primary, former State Rep. Amy Rice. Unofficial partial results show Seveney received 693 votes, or 68 percent of the Democratic tally, compared with 204 votes, or 20 percent, for Rice. Brett Pelletier lagged behind on the Democratic side with 115 votes.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The Rhode Island Trucking Association said Monday it is filing an open record request to learn additional details about Governor Gina Raimondo's controversial truck-toll proposal, after previous requests for the information went unanswered.

Timothy Burling/Creative Commons

A fire in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system on the roof of the Textron building created billowing smoke that could be seen for miles away Sunday morning.

Firefighters brought the fire under control shortly after reporting to the scene. The blaze was reported at about 10:30 AM.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Public safety commissioner Steve Pare said the cause is not believed to be suspicious.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! I'm grateful for our listeners/readers at RIPR, my excellent colleagues in the local media, the staffers and spokespeople on the beat, and of course, Rhode Island politics -- the gift that keeps giving. With that in mind, feel free to drop me a tip or comment via email and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Police are maintaining extra patrols this weekend in an attempt to reduce cases of impaired driving.

Law enforcement calls the Thanksgiving holiday weekend one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the roads. In an effort to fight that, State Police and local departments are teaming up as part of what they call Operation Blue RIPTIDE.

This effort is funded by the state Department of Transportation. Extra police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers in high-traffic, high-incident areas.

For Thanksgiving week, the panel looks back at Rhode Island political stories for which we were thankful for in 2015, as well as our top political turkeys of the year.

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo is using the words “Christmas tree” in connection with a holiday celebration at the State House. That’s in contrast to the initial approach used by former governor Lincoln Chafee.

In Governor Chafee’s first year in office, in 2011, he called the tree in the State House rotunda a “holiday tree.” Chafee maintained his approach was in keeping with tradition, but critics said the governor was stepping on the spirit of the holiday.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signed a subpoena calling on Curt Schilling to appear for a December 15th meeting of the House Oversight Committee.

Wexford Science & Technology

The president of Wexford Science & Technology, which has proposed a one-million-square-foot mixed-use development on five acres in the I-195 District, told a crowd of business and civil leaders Monday night that Providence has the necessary elements to create a successful innovation hub.

After a mid-November slowdown, politics near and far remains roiled by fallout from the Paris attacks. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome via email, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

CharlestownCitizens.org

State Senator Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton), who attracted national criticism for an email in which she condemned Muslims, released a statement Friday defending her concerns about admitting Syrian refugees into the US.

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