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
5:58 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

State Senate approves brief delay in state education merger

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state Senate approved a bill Thursday to allow additional time for a controversial merger of two state boards of education.

The bill will continue the existence until March 7 of separate state boards for K-through-12 and public higher education. It also pushes back until September the final structure for combining the two boards.

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Politics
5:39 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Same-sex marriage bills introduced at the General Assembly

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Bill to legalize same-sex marriage were introduced Thursday in each chamber of the General Assembly.

Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) is the lead sponsor of a Senate bill with about a dozen sponsors.

In the House, the bill was introduced by Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston) with about 40 sponsors.

The House Judiciary Committee could take up the bill as soon as next week.

It’s not clear when the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the bill on the Senate side.

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Politics
12:10 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Raimondo talks pension and her priorities for 2013

Credit Gina Raimondo

The fate of the 2011 pension overhaul in mediation is among the top issues facing the state starting this month. As we transition into the New Year, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis has been talking with state leaders. We’ve already heard from Governor Lincoln Chafee and state Senate president Teresa Paiva Weed…. Our latest interview is with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

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Politics
11:01 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Cranston rep optimistic about same-sex marriage proposal

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The lead sponsor of a House bill to legalize same-sex marriage says he plans to introduce it Thursday.

Cranston Representative Art Handy says his bill includes a guarantee that religious officials wouldn’t have to prefer same-sex marriages if they don’t want to. He says that guarantee is already enshrined in the state Constitution.

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Politics
6:17 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Senate bill would delay part of education board merger until September

A bill introduced Wednesday by state Senator Hanna Gallo would delay until September 1 the “final plan for the permanent administrative structure” for the controversial combined state Board of Education.

In a signal of a green light for the bill, cosponsors include Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Mediating the RI pension case -- and what it means for 2014

The court-ordered pension mediation set to begin this month will take place against an intensifying political backdrop: the early stage of the 2014 gubernatorial race. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says politics can remain separate and apart from the mediation process.

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Politics
11:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

General Assembly outlines priorities

(PROVIDENCE, RI) House Speaker Gordon Fox says the time has come for the state Senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

Fox, who is openly gay, was joined by his partner as he received the oath of office Tuesday for another term as House speaker.

Fox says Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed hasn’t given him any assurances about the fate of same-sex marriage bill. He says he hopes this is the year for the legislation to move forward.

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Politics
11:15 am
Wed January 2, 2013

2012 News Countdown: Split gambling vote

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Once again, it was a busy year in the Ocean State, and Rhode Island Public Radio’s counting down the top ten news stories of 2012. At number 2 is the split vote to expand gambling at one video slot parlor, but not at another.

In November, Rhode Islanders voted to expand gambling to include casino-style games at Twin River. The vote received overwhelming support in Twin River’s host community of Lincoln.

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Politics
6:29 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Fox, Paiva Weed easily regain leadership posts; pledge greater economic focus

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed cruised to re-election in their leadership positions Tuesday while pledging increased legislative attention to trying to boost Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

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Politics
9:58 am
Tue January 1, 2013

General Assembly starts the New Year by working

(PROVIDENCE, RI) High unemployment, same-sex marriage and the state budget are among the top issues facing the General Assembly as it starts a new session Tuesday.


The Assembly is meeting on New Year’s Day because of a requirement that legislative sessions start on the first Tuesday of the year. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says her chamber plans to concentrate on jobs. “Economic development and a focus on turning around Rhode Island’s economy will be the Senate’s single highest priority this session.”

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