Chafee due to be sworn in as first modern day independent governor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island's first independent governor since colonial times will be sworn in today at the state capitol. Lincoln Chafee will take the reins with the state facing a nearly $300-million shortfall.

Sensitive to the state's budget woes, Chafee scaled back the inauguration festivities by skipping the pomp and throwing a free Waterfire in downtown Providence. WRNI political analyst Scott MacKay says it's similar to the Linc Almond inauguration 16 years ago.

"Then the economy was not very good," MacKay says. "Almond dispensed with the traditional inaugural ball and what he had instead was a celebration of Rhode Island arts and ethnic history at the convention center."

Also being inaugurated are Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

PROGRAM NOTE: WRNI will carry the inauguration live at noon. Then, tonight at six, it's a special Political Roundtable.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.