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
8:29 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Algiere, Bates join RI Senate GOP bloc in backing bill favored by same-sex marriage supporters

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island is gaining momentum among Republicans.
Credit Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

All five Republicans in the 38-member Rhode Island Senate - including Minority Leader Dennis Algiere of Westerly - plan to support the same-sex marriage bill backed by supporters of the issue, RIPR has learned.

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Politics
7:10 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Senate Committee Vote Set for Tuesday

Same-sex marriage is up for its first vote in the Senate Judiciary Commitee.
Credit Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on legislation that could legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island.  The issue has never previously come this far in the state Senate.

The 10-member Judiciary Committee plans to vote on two separate bills. One would grant marriage rights to same-sex couples through the legislature. The other one has broader religious exemptions and would make legalizing same-sex marriage subject to a statewide vote.

Depending on what happens with the two bills, the legislation could move to the Senate floor as soon as Thursday.

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On Politics
8:27 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

New York Times on 38 Studios: Scandal Grew From Political Insiders' Delusions

The Sunday New York Times is out with Matt Bai's lengthy and well-written overview of Rhode Island's disastrous investment in 38 Studios, former Red Sox star Curt Schilling's bankrupt video game company. Bai's story doesn't offer much in the way of new findings, but it will expose the Ocean State's folly to a broad audience of influentials.

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On Politics
4:29 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

TGIF: 12 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

With the aftermath of this week's Boston Marathon attack remaining in the forefront of headlines, we're keeping the focus on politics in my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by; as always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

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On Politics
3:33 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Senate Judiciary Sets Same-Sex Marriage vote for Tuesday

Competing same-sex marriage bills -- one backed by supporters, one backed by opponents -- are set to receive a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 3 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Same-sex marriage supporters back the bill introduced by Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) that would grant marriage rights through the legislature.

Opponents favor a bill introduced by Senator Frank Ciccone that vote make the issue subject to a statewide vote. It also includes broad religious and other exemptions.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Political Roundtable: Fung Talks Pensions, 2014, and the Attack on the Boston Marathon

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the aftermath of the attack at the Boston Marathon, the merits of negotiated pension settlements, his potential gubernatorial campaign next year, and other issues.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Fung Explains Why He's a Republican

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q+A to talk about why he's a Republican, his potential race for governor next year, and what Rhode Island should do to improve its economy, among other issues.

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On Politics
10:07 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Ramping Up Grassroots Campaign in Home Stretch

With a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on same-sex marriage legislation expected as soon as next week, the group leading the campaign in favor of legalization says it plans to deploy more than 300 people this weekend to knock on doors and make phone calls.

Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, says the stepped-up effort is meant to connect constituents in key Senate districts with their legislators "to carry the message and the banner that it's finally time to pass marriage equality."

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RI News
6:58 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Kennedy Plaza May Soon Get New Look

Providence's Kennedy Plaza may undergo renovations.
Credit Natalie Jablonski/RIPR

A plan to fill Kennedy Plaza in Providence with a mix of pedestrian-friendly activities will be announced Thursday evening.

    

The effort to populate Kennedy Plaza with more people is being led by the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. The group’s head, Cliff Wood, said it will take time and a mix of millions of dollars in public and private money to reach the goal. The vision is to fill Kennedy Plaza with a variety of uses, like transit, shopping, socializing, concerts, a beer garden and children’s programs.

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On Politics
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Intended Grandfathering Language Left out of RI Assault Weapon Bill; Drafting Error Cited

Legislative language that would allow Rhode Islanders who own guns defined as assault weapons to keep them after the July 1 effective date is missing from the relevant bill.

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