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
3:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Chafee says RI offering help to CT after school shooting

Governor Lincoln Chafee, as part of a statement following today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, says RI officials have offered their assistance to Connecticut. Here’s the governor’s full statement:

The word “tragedy” is used often these days, but it is difficult to think of a more truly tragic turn of events than what occurred in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today.

On behalf of all the people of Rhode Island, our most sincere condolences and sympathy are with the families of the victims of this horrendous crime.

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On Politics
4:59 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Gary Alexander running up travel costs for PA taxpayers while commuting from RI

Gary Alexander, the former director of the state Department of Human Services, is costing Pennsylvania taxpayers thousands of dollars by traveling by car from a home in Rhode Island to his current job as Pennsylvania’s secretary of public welfare, according to a published report.

The Pennsylvania Independent has these details:

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On Politics
4:53 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Hourahan leaving Chafee administration for Family Service of RI

Stephen Hourahan, a top adviser to Governor Lincoln Chafee, is leaving the administration for a job as chief advancement officer with Family Service of Rhode Island.

Via news release:

Hourahan left Family Service in 2009 to join the successful Chafee for Governor campaign. He also served as Communications Director for then-Senator Lincoln Chafee and in a variety of positions for the late Senator John Chafee.

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On Politics
4:47 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Diossa says EngageRI should disclose its contributors

James Diossa, the mayor-elect of Central Falls, says EngageRI should disclose its contributors in the interest of transparency.

“I’m all about open [government] and honest and transparency, so I believe it should be open,” Diossa said during a taping this morning of RIPR’s Political Roundtable. The segment will air during Morning Edition at 5:40 and 7:40 on Friday.

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On Politics
4:24 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

The spending trend remains up, but the General Assembly cut $3M from its FY2012 budget

Does the General Assembly ever cut its budget? On at least one recent occasion, yes.

The legislature’s spending for the fiscal year that ended June 30 (fiscal 2012) was cut by $3 million, according to information presented during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday. House spokesman Larry Berman offered this explanation:

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On Politics
1:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

RI Jobs with Justice to recognize Mike Downey, Mary Kay Harris, others

The liberal activist group RI Jobs with Justice is having its latest awards dinner this Thursday, 6-9 pm, at the Cranston Portuguese Club. Former state rep David Segal sent along the following details:

Jobs With Justice is scrappy, but one of the most important and effective activist organizations in Rhode Island.  The campaign they helped lead in support of a living wage ordinance in Providence is one of the reasons I got involved in politics here and decided to run for City Council a decade ago. 

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On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

Full archives of this blog can be found here.

Politics
12:11 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

James Diossa is the new mayor of Central Falls

James Diossa hugs a supporter
Credit Ian Donnis

James Diossa won a historic victory Tuesday as the first Latino mayor of predominantly Latino Central Falls. Diossa will lead the state's smallest city as it tries to move beyond bankruptcy.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Surplus shrinks FY2014 deficit to $70M; long-term spending still a problem

A pre-session House Finance Committee meeting this afternoon offered a mix of good news and bad news: a larger than expected current-year surplus of about $47 million will roughly cut in half the deficit for the budget year starting next July 1, from $130 million to $70 million.

But the state’s structural deficit could grow to about $400 million in five years, due in part to overspending in some state departments. In an interview following the meeting, House Finance chairman Helio Melo said the state needs to be more disciplined:

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On Politics
12:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

It’s orientation day at the General Assembly

The General Assembly taking up business on New Year’s Day will be more Democratic than the last one, with just 11 Republicans (down from 18) among the 113 state reps and state senators. Lawmakers will once again take their seats as the state wrestles with high unemployment and long-term deficits. One of the key questions for the new session is whether legislative leaders will push meaningful economic-development efforts in the aftermath of the meltdown of 38 Studios earlier this year.

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