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
8:50 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Mayor Taveras Supports Repayment of 38 Studios Bonds

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is supporting the General Assembly’s inclusion of money to pay back bondholders who invested in failed video game maker 38 Studios.  The legislative budget includes two and a half million dollars for the bondholders.

Opponents say not paying back the bonds will be less costly than coughing up a total of 90 million dollars over 8 years. They point to how Rhode Island isn’t legally required to pay back moral obligation bonds. But Taveras agreed with those who say that not paying the money would hurt the state’s credit rating and reputation.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Political Roundtable: Taveras on 38 Studios Bonds, Immigration + his Political Future

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the legislative budget; paying back 38 Studios bonds; immigration legislation in Congress; and his political future.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Taveras Talks Education, Finances + the Economy

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras joins us on Bonus Q+A to discuss finances, taxes and schools in Rhode Island's capital city, and other issues.

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On Politics
11:50 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Brown U Unveils Plan to Utilize Vacant South Street Power Station

Brown University is out with a plan for invigorating the vacant Dynamo House, the former South Street Power Station:

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Politics
7:15 am
Thu June 27, 2013

2014 State Budget Passes in the House

Speaker Gordon Fox on the second night of debate over the 2014 State Budget.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Rhode Island House of Representations Wednesday passed a budget that includes the first repayment for money owed over the state’s losing investment in video-game maker 38 Studios.  Taxpayers remain on the hook for a total of about 90 million dollars.

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On Politics
1:24 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

It's Day Two and RI House Still Trying to Bang out a Budget

House Speaker Gordon Fox on the second day of trying to pass a state budget.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Rhode Island House resumed the budget debate Wednesday afternoon. It's the second day that followed an unusual defeat for House Speaker Gordon Fox which sent the state's spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 into uncertainty.

On Wednesday the House voted 67-4  on a bill that freezes tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge until February 1, 2014. The legislation also creates a commission to study how East Bay bridges are funded. And a provision in the House budget blocks any toll hikes for Newport's Pell Bridge.

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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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