Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets 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, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations. Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

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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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On Politics
10:20 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Ken Block takes on leadership role with RI Taxpayers

The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, a taxpayer advocacy group, is renaming itself as RI Taxpayers. Moderate Party founder Ken Block is signing on as president of the group, Donna Perry is continuing as its executive director, Lisa Blais will serve as lobbyist, and Anchor Rising blogger Monique Chartier will edit the daily e-mail newsletter.

Via news release:

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On Politics
4:09 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

TGIF: 10 things to know about RI politics + media

Welcome back to my Friday column. As always your tips and thoughts are weclome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

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On Politics
3:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Mediation to continue in unions' challenge to state pension overhaul

The mediation aimed at settling a legal challenge by a series of unions to the state pension overhaul of 2011 is set to continue through the month of February.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter met Friday morning with the two sides in the case, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. "They are going to continue to mediate," Berke said, adding that Taft-Carter is scheduled to get another update on February 28.

On Politics
1:07 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Raimondo sets the pace with a $1M bump in her war chest for 2012

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo lived up to her reputation as a high-flying political fundraiser in 2012, closing the year with an increase of more than $1 million in her campaign account.

Raimondo's Q4 report shows her with a balance of $1,359,191. That's an increase of $1,049,153 from where her campaign account stood ($310,038) at the start of 2012. It also puts her considerably ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who closed 2012 with a balance of $413,283 (a gain of $288,148 from the start of the year).

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