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.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A new dispute between the leadership of the Rhode Island House and the state Senate became public Friday, with Senate President Dominick Ruggerio accusing House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello of obstructing the Senate’s operations.

The Senate leadership said it's considering taking the issue to court.

The passing of Sister Ann Keefe, who died on January 18, 2015, was a great loss to the Rhode Island Community.

St. Michael’s Parish will hold a Memorial Mass for Sr. Ann at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, January 21st at St. Michael’s Church at 260 St. Ann Keefe Way (Oxford Street) Providence.

Newport’s Gilded Age mansions, one of Rhode Island’s top tourist destinations, surpassed one million tours in 2017 for the second consecutive year.

Trudy Coxe, CEO of the Preservation Society of Newport County, which owns the mansions,  says the success of the mansion tours shows that people care about historic preservation and “care about keeping America’s heritage alive.”

In the September and October, the Newport mansions ere the most visited in New England, drawing more to tours than even the largest Boston museums.

Lynch & Pine

William Lynch, a longtime former chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, is considering running for the District 8 state Senate left vacant by the resignation Tuesday of James E. Doyle II, Rhode Island Public Radio has learned.

Doyle, a Democrat first elected in 2004, said he was stepping down due to a personal struggle with alcohol.

Matthew Fecteau, who came close to defeating Doyle in 2016, has already announced a campaign for the Pawtucket-based Senate seat.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On an 8-to-1 vote, the Rhode Island Senate's Finance Committee approved legislation that would use public financing to help build a new PawSox stadium in downtown Pawtucket, although the proposal's outlook in the House remains far from certain.

The vote, with Sen. Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry) voting in opposition, took place after supporters and opponents aired familiar arguments for a bit more than an hour.

Rhode Island emerged largely unscathed from the initial phase of our first big weather-related test of the new year, so bully for us, hardy New Englanders and cringing weather weenies alike. Thanks for stopping by for my column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A.T. Wall is retiring next month as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Wall started working as a corrections officer in 1976. As he prepares to step down after more than a decade at the helm of the state prison system, he took a few minutes to speak with Rhode Island Public Radio.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With the fate of the Pawtucket Red Sox looming over the start of the General Assembly's 2018 session, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said stronger public support is the key to winning his backing for the team's $83 million stadium proposal.

M. Charles Bakst

Thomas Morgan, a longtime former Providence Journal reporter who was beloved by his colleagues and widely appreciated by readers, has died at age 75.

Former colleagues said Morgan was found at his apartment on Solar Street in Providence on Friday.

On Twitter, former ProJo investigative reporter Mike Stanton remembered Morgan as "one of the most gifted writers, raconteurs, humorists and connoisseurs I had the pleasure of working with."

We're on the cusp of an exciting new year in Rhode Island, with lots of political intrigue and big elections up for grabs. So thanks for stopping by. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis/File Photo

When Rhode Island lawmakers begin a new session next Tuesday, they'll face a big decision about the future of the PawSox. 

Who needs holiday presents when Rhode Island politics is the gift that keeps on giving? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Anthony Cramp / CC BY 2.0 VIA FLICKR

The season of “Auld Lang Syne” is fast upon us. As we sing the strains inspired by the Scottish poet Robert Burns, we remember the past year. We also look ahead to the new.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo discusses the outlook on the PawSox, problems with the UHIP system, debate about her administrations use of tax incentives and much more during the first installment of a two-part year-end interview.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a wide-ranging year-end interview, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello explains his concerns about the proposal for a new PawSox stadium in Pawtucket, and why he remains fully behind eliminating the state car tax.