Ruggiero gets Senate majority nod

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On a 28-to-zero vote, longtime lawmaker Dominick Ruggiero got the nod Wednesday as the new majority leader in the state Senate.

The unanimous vote during an open Democratic caucus reflects how Ruggerio is held in high esteem by his fellow senators. Critics point to his work as an administrator for the New England Laborers' union in arguing that labor has too much influence in the General Assembly. Ruggerio responds by saying he's also advocated for business in the legislature.

"I try to strike a perfect balance," he says. "You can't really have all business and you can't have all labor. There's always a happy medium and that's what I look for."

The Democratic caucus also voted for Senate president Teresa Paiva Weed to maintain the top position in the chamber. Paiva Weed says the Senate will become more transparent in its next session while also focusing on the economy.

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