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
5:29 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Langevin, Cicilline highlight toll of gun violence as part of State of the Union address

Congressman Jim Langevin
Credit Kristin Gourlay

Congressman Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are among more than 20 reps bringing guests to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night whose lives have been impacted by gun-related violence.

Langevin says the point is to personalize the issue as the tragedy last year in Newtown, Connecticut, recedes in time:

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On Politics
10:39 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Critics sound warning about binding arbitration bill

A bill to extend binding arbitration to teacher contracts -- which last hit the House floor during the 2011 legislative session -- is coming back to the Statehouse.

Binding arbitration legislation sponsored by state Representative Anastasia Williams (D-Providence) is slated for a House Labor Committee hearing Tuesday (following the House session, or about 4:30/5 p.m.) in Room 201. A vote is not expected to take place following the hearing.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Political Roundtable: Metts says new efforts needed to re-integrate offenders

State Senator Harold Metts
Credit Ian Donnis

State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Metts recalls being racially profiled

State Senator Harold Metts joins us for our Bonus Q+A segment to talk about education policy, disproportionately high unemployment for minorities, and what it's like to be racially profiled while serving in the General Assembly.

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On Politics
4:19 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Metts calls the stigma of prison "a life sentence" for former offenders seeking jobs

State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) says the stigma of prison is so severe for former inmates that it's virtually impossible for them to find work after serving their time. He calls that a contributor to the disproportionately high rate of unemployment for minorities in poor parts of the capital city.

“The rate of incarceration is a big factor in the unemployment in certain parts of my district, because once you get that jail record, it ends up being a lifetime sentence, because you can’t get a job.”

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Politics
8:41 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Senate panel clears first nominees for combined Education Board; critics unmollified

Education Board nominee Michael Grande (center) responds to a question from state Senator Edward O'Neill.
Credit Ian Donnis

A legislative committee on Wednesday approved four nominees for a combined board overseeing K-through-12 and higher education. But critics still question whether the merged education board is a good idea.

A stream of witnesses touted the commitment to public education of the four nominees. The Senate Education Committee approved each of them by at least 8 of 10 votes.

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Politics
4:25 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Goldin proposing paid leave as part of temporary disability insurance

Gayle Goldin
Credit courtesy Gayle Goldin For RI

A bill being introduced this week would offer paid family leave as part of the state’s temporary disability insurance program, or TDI. But least one observer thinks the TDI program is already too costly.

Senator Gayle Goldin (D-Providence) says temporary paid leave should be available for workers caring for a seriously ill family member or bonding with a new child in their home. She says expanding TDI to do this would cost 83 cents a week for typical workers. Goldin says the benefits of temporary paid leave have been supported by research in California and New Jersey.

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On Politics
12:38 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Hassett says he'll decide soon on run for secretary of state

Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett, who was among the earliest to emerge as a prospective candidate for secretary of state in 2014, says he'll decide by month's end whether to pursue a campaign for that office.

The field of potential candidates for SoS has changed considerably since Hassett's interest was first reported in mid-2011.

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RI News
7:05 am
Tue February 5, 2013

General Assembly begins budget process this week

RI State Capitol
Credit RIPR file

Legislative committees are set Tuesday to begin reviewing Governor Lincoln Chafee’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting in July. This is one of many meetings where lawmakers will hash over the budget.

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On Politics
1:47 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Walsh knocks down speculation on same-sex marriage/binding arbitration deal

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.

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