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
8:19 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Fung Hires Former Director of RI Republican Party

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has hired an experienced campaign operative as a consultant.  Fung is considered a likely Republican candidate for governor next year.

Patrick Sweeney is a former director of the Rhode Island Republican Party and he ran Barry Hinckley’s losing GOP challenge last year to US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Sweeney started work as a consultant for Fung April first.  The veteran GOP staffer was guarded when asked if this signals a gubernatorial run for Fung.

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On Politics
4:40 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

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

Happy Friday and welcome back. Your tips and thoughts are always appreciated in my inbox at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's dive in.

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On Politics
1:02 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Providence pension deal gets final approval; challenges remain

Taveras during a 2012 address at City Hall
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In what Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls a historic day, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter gave final approval Friday for a deal that will reduce the capital city's $900 million+ unfunded pension liability by $178 million. The agreement followed negotiations between the city and police and fire unions and municipal retirees.

"Today is the end of a long, long road that we've traveled," Taveras said in an interview. "I feel a lot of relief and gratitude to all the employees and retirees especially who have agreed to help the city."

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Political Roundtable: Rep. Chippendale Calls Heightened Enforcement Key to Curbing Gun Violence

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the nine-point gun-safety proposal unveiled this week by state officials, Governor Lincoln Chafee's choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation, and other issues.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Chippendale Cites LA Riot as Justification for Assault Weapons

State Representative Michael Chippendale joins us on Bonus Q+A to discuss the gun debate, the struggles of the Rhode Island GOP and other issues.

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Local Features
4:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Nonviolence Activist: Gun Advocates Need To Be Part of Reducing Violence

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A sweeping gun-safety proposal unveiled Tuesday at the Statehouse faces an uncertain outlook. Legislative leaders say new steps are necessary in the aftermath of the school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut. But the gun lobby remains powerful, and past efforts to strengthen gun laws in the legislature have faced an uphill battle.

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On Politics
5:41 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Fox, Paiva Weed Call Broad Gun-Safety Proposal a Starting Point for Talks

House Speaker Gordon Fox discusses a legislative gun-safety proposal as Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed look on.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A nine-point plan intended to reduce gun-related violence and reduce the threat of a school shooting in Rhode Island was unveiled by leading elected and public-safety officials at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon. Legislative leaders repeatedly called the proposal a starting point for discussion, raising questions about what exactly will meet with General Assembly muster before the legislature ends it session in June.

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Politics
8:16 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Senate Vote On Horizon

The full Rhode Island Senate is expected to vote on same-sex marriage legislation within the next few weeks. That’s according to the spokesman for Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

The first step for the legislation is the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Same-sex marriage supporters want the General Assembly to approve same-sex marriage. Opponents favor a competing bill calling for the issue to be decided through a statewide vote.

The Senate is expected to consider the issue after its spring break next week.

Politics
7:04 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Lawmakers to Unveil Gun Legislation

Rhode Island lawmakers will consider stricter gun control measures.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

State officials plan to roll out a package of bills Tuesday in an attempt to reduce gun-related violence. Lawmakers and law enforcement officials have been discussing the issue since January.

Rhode Island is among the states considering more stringent gun laws after the school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut. The local response will come in a package of nine bills. The proposals are expected to include such topics as background checks, weapons sales, and mental health.

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Municipal Pensions
3:30 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Cranston Mayor Makes "Breakthrough" Pension Deal

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announces a pension deal at city hall Monday.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced an agreement Monday to improve the condition of one of the worst funded municipal pensions in the state.

Fung says the deal will save Cranston $6.5 million in pension costs over the next fiscal year while solving a lingering problem.

“This issue has been an albatross over the city for decades, close to half a century, and this agreement shows the progress that can be made when all parties come together in a spirit of cooperation,” said Fung.

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