Scott MacKay

Political Analyst

With a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont and a wealth of knowledge of local politics, it was a given that Scott MacKay would become a commentator for Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable.

As a former political reporter for The Providence Journal, MacKay has spent more than thirty years documenting the ins and outs of politics in Rhode Island and New England. MacKay is married to Dr. Staci Fisher, an infectious diseases specialist.

Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScotMackRI

Ways to Connect

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Rhode Island General Assembly is expected to do its final business this week, and then go home for the Fourth of July holiday. Before the summer recess, House lawmakers voted last week on the state budget. What else remains for lawmakers to do?

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison put the question to our political analyst Scott MacKay.

Eugene McCaffrey, a former Rhode Island Democratic state representative, state senator and mayor of Warwick, has died. He was 84.

McCaffrey was the father of Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, D-Warwick.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Sometimes it’s hard to figure who’s in charge at the Rhode Island Statehouse. This year isn’t one of those times, as RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains.

In case you were wondering who’s running things on Smith Hill these days, we bring you House Speaker Nick Mattiello, a Cranston Democrat who has ushered in a $9.2 billion state budget that includes his pet project, cutting Rhode Island’s  disdained car tax.

Cliff Wood, a former Providence city council member, director of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and longtime civic activist, has been appointed executive director of the Providence Foundation.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are scheduled to vote later this week on the new state budget.

But the $9.2 billion spending plan leaves a question about roughly $25 million dollars in cuts needed to balance the budget. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Analyst Scott MacKay says under the current plan, Gov. Gina Raimondo and her staff will have to find those savings.

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Social media continues its creep into every area of life. Once again, a Facebook post has become an issue in a Rhode Island lawsuit that has reached the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which has reinstated the unemployment benefits of a worker fired because of a social media post.

RIPR file photo

This week Rhode Island lawmakers unveiled a $9.2 billion spending plan that avoids a major tax increase, while closing a $134 million deficit. How did they do it? Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison turns to our political analyst Scott MacKay.

Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell told lawyers meeting in Providence today that he is concerned that arrests of undocumented immigrants inside or near state court buildings could lead to  people skipping out on court appearances.

RIPR file

Former Gov. and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee is back on the scene with a series of media appearances. Chafee is thinking about running for governor again, but RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay wonders why. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s economy keeps chugging along, with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in May, which means the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment was below the national rate of 4.3 percent.

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Why does the 38 Studios disaster still haunt Rhode Island’s political reputation? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has been thinking about the video game company since state police released more documents from the investigation.  


Dank Depot / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

The two Rhode Island lawmakers who are leading the effort to legalize marijuana in the Ocean State have offered a compromise they call “incremental legalization.”

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello has put forward a plan to get rid of the car tax. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s a fine plan, but he asks a nettlesome question  – can the state afford it?  

RIPR File Photo

Banning smoking downtown would be an attack on the homeless and a waste of time for city police, who ought to be dealing with real crime, said Elorza.

In his veto message, Elorza said, while this “`ordinance is ostensibly about smoking, its true target is the homeless community. Homelessness is a serious problem in Providence, just as it is in cities across the country. As you are aware, the causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and include substance abuse, mental illness and, of course, economic challenges.”’

Sakeeb Sabakka / Creative Commons License By 2.0

Across Rhode Island, college graduates are headed to the wider world. But many of them will spend years paying down the student loans that financed their degrees. RIPR Political Analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to give students a break, and bring down the cost of higher education.   

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