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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On Politics
12:31 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Taveras Rolls Out Economic Plan; Previews Message for Possible Run for Governor

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a 20-point economic plan Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Providence Foundation. The mayor's repeated rhetorical emphasis -- how Providence has bounced back from the financial abyss thanks to collaboration and shared sacrifice -- sounded like one message he'll wield next year during an expected Democratic run for governor.

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On Politics
11:46 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Bishop Tobin, Advocates Clash on SCOTUS + Same-Sex Marriage

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin issued a statement this morning, calling on the General Assembly to put the brakes on same-sex marriage legislation due to the US Supreme Court's consideration of related issues:

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Politics
8:41 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Supporters Plan to Rally for Payday Loan Reform

The debate over payday lending is set to begin anew with a Statehouse rally Wednesday afternoon.  Efforts to reduce the annual interest charged by payday lenders have died on Smith Hill for the last two years.

The mayors of Warwick, Cranston, Central Falls and Woonsocket are expected to take part in the rally being staged by the Rhode Island Payday Lending Reform Coalition.

Pay day loans are capped at $500, and are supposed to be paid back within two weeks. The annual interest rate on those loans can amount to 260 percent.

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On Politics
3:03 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Josh Miller may mull run for lieutenant governor

Add Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) to the list of potential candidates for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Miller says it's too early to consider him an LG candidate, but adds that there "might be a point before the end of the session that I'll start looking at it."

The Cranston Democrat and restaurateur says he's focused on legislative matters for now and wants to consider his potential effectiveness as lieutenant governor before making a decision. Miller says he can offer "a wide range of experience on a wide range of issues."

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Same-sex Marriage Bill
12:47 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

RI Mayors Urge Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa urge lawmakers to pass same-sex marriage bill.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A group of mayors from around Rhode Island called Monday for the state Senate to legalize same-sex marriage. It remains unclear when the Senate will take up two competing same-sex marriage bills.

The advocacy group Rhode Islanders United for Marriage says the mayors of six communities support same-sex marriage: Providence, Warwick, Pawtucket, North Providence, Central Falls and Cumberland. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls same-sex marriage a matter of equality and something that will give Rhode Island an economic boost.

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On Politics
4:33 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

TGIF: 15 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my weekly column. A 12-hour legislative committee meeting on the same night when the RI GOP invalidates a vote for chairman? Just another day in the Biggest Little. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

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Political Roundtable
2:25 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Stenhouse on Why Rhode Island Isn't More Competitive

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joins us on Bonus Q+A to talk about the center's mission, its proposal to eliminate the sales tax, its report card on Rhode Island's competitiveness, and other issues.

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On Politics
11:42 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee's 12-hour Same-Sex Marriage Hearing -- And What's Next

Senator Frank Ciccone, Governor Lincoln Chafee, and Treasurer Gina Raimondo at the witness table.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

If hundreds of people offer heartfelt arguments over 12 hours to lawmakers whose minds are mostly made up on the controversial issue of same-sex marriage, does it make any difference?

"I don't know," says Senator Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry), one of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that held a marathon hearing on the subject from 5 pm Thursday to 5 am Friday.

Raptakis says 9 of 10 committee members stuck it out to the end.

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Political Roundtable
9:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Political Roundtable: Stenhouse says Eliminating the Sales Tax Would Spark RI's Economy

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss his center's sales tax elimination plan; the debate over high-stakes testing, Woonsocket's reliance on Food Stamps, and the outlook for the 2013 Red Sox.

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Politics
8:28 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Stenhouse: Rhode Island Needs to Take More Urgent Steps

As Rhode Island tries to overcome high unemployment, some observers argue that more urgent steps are needed to spark the economy. One of the groups making that argument is a free-market think tank, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. The center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, stopped by our studio to talk about a proposal to eliminate the sales tax and other issues.


Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

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