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
4:51 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

EngageRI reminds Chafee of how pension savings gave him budget flexibility

EngageRI, the pro-pension overhaul group started with encouragement from state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is reminding Governor Lincoln Chafee of how pension savings made possible many of the initiatives in his new budget.

EngageRI chairman John Galvin says in a statement:

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Politics
12:34 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Chafee calls Massachusetts' governor's tax proposal "a curveball"

Governor Lincoln Chafee is winning a measure of plaudits for a budget with no new taxes and a proposed cut of the corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over three years. But a tax initiative by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is raising uncertainly about the net effect of Chafee's initiative.

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Politics
9:17 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Chafee's budget calls for biz tax cut, more education spending

Gov. Lincoln Chafee delivers his State of the State address
Credit Ian Donnis

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Gov. Lincoln Chafee won positive reviews Wednesday night for a state budget with no new taxes and a reduction in the corporate tax. The governor’s spending plan also includes more money for education and creating jobs.

Chafee’s budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st takes a different approach from his last two spending plans. Rather than proposing new taxes, the governor defended a decision to cut the corporate tax from nine to seven percent over three years. He says doing that makes sense even though money for social services remains tight.

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Politics
7:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Chafee's new budget cuts corporate tax, avoids tax hikes

After trying unsuccessfully for the last two years to get the General Assembly to go along with a series of tax proposals, Governor Lincoln Chafee goes in a very different direction with his proposal for the budget year starting July 1. The budget eschews tax hikes and proposes cutting Rhode Island's corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over three years.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Chafee team previews his budget; jobs and competitiveness highlighted

Making Rhode Island more competitive and getting Rhode Islanders back to work are central points of Governor Lincoln Chafee's State of the State address tonight.

Budget staffers and other members of the governor's administration held a background briefing for reporters a short time ago at the Department of Administration building on Smith Hill. The details are embargoed until Chafee begins his speech this evening in the House chamber.

But in addition to the points in the first sentence of the post, the Chafee administration also plans to emphasize:

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Politics
10:59 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Battle joined anew over same-sex marriage in Rhode Island

Chafee, Moffit, Raimondo, Ferri and Handy at the witness table in House Judiciary.
Credit Ian Donnis

A House Judiciary Committee hearing kicked off Tuesday with testimony from the lead sponsor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, state Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston). He said it was the eleventh time he has introduced such legislation, but wasn't sure precisely how long similar bills have been filed. Handy said he thought the first was 18 years ago, but his point was really that the time has long since come to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island.

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Politics
11:50 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Senate aims to improve RI's business-friendliness with new report

A report released Tuesday morning by the state Senate and the business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council uses a color-coded system to assess the state's performance on different economic indicators and recommends a series of steps for improvingits underperforming economy.

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Business
9:26 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Report looks at RI business climate

(PROVIDENCE, RI) A report examining why Rhode Island’s business climate ranks poorly in national surveys is slated to be released Tuesday.

Rhode Island has repeatedly placed near the bottom in some national surveys on the business friendliness of different states. The new study – entitled “Moving the Needle” – was produced by the state Senate and the business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Historic House vote on same-sex marriage may come next week

Justice Alice Gibney administering the oath of office to Speaker Fox at the start of the 2013 session
Credit Ian Donnis

A vote isn't expected when the House Judiciary Committee holds (at the rise, in Room 313) what will likely be a lengthy hearing Tuesday on the same-sex marriage bill sponsored by Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston). But a historic House floor vote on same-sex marriage may come as soon as next week.

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Politics
5:59 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Connie Grosch is David Cicilline's new press secretary

Grosch in the House chamber
Credit Ian Donnis

Connie Grosch, the highly respected photojournalist who was laid off in November as part of broader cost-cutting at the Providence Journal, has been hired as the press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline.

"I couldn't be more thrilled," says Grosch, who is slated to start in the new role on January 22.

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