This week marked the one-year point until Rhode Island's decisive 2014 primary. Welcome back to my Friday column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to stay posted via Twitter. Let's head in.
The ancient cliché is that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why it’s time for Rhode Island lawmakers to make a serious study of our state’s tax structure.
With Rhode Island’s economic recovery still trailing our New England neighbors, there is no better time for the General Assembly to launch a measured study of the way we levy the taxes that pay for roads, schools and social services.
If gubernatorial-candidate-in-waiting Gina Raimondo has bold ideas for sparking Rhode Island's economy, she's keeping them to herself. Instead, during a taping Thursday of RIPR's Political Roundtable, Raimondo sounded a lot like Rhode Island's current governor, Lincoln Chafee, in emphasizing a focus on improving the economic fundamentals.
State Representative Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) wants the House Oversight Committee to use its subpoena power to extract documents and compel appearances by key figures in Rhode Island's losing investment in failed video game maker 38 Studios.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has tapped a host of prominent Republicans -- including former governors Don Carcieri and Lincoln Almond, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, and Lincoln Town Administrator Joseph Almond -- as part of an exploratory committee for his anticipated GOP gubernatorial run.
Via news release, Fung said Rhode Islanders are hungry for leadership, "someone who has both the private and public sector experience necessary to get Rhode Islanders back to work and get this state back on track.”
Central Falls educator Victor Capellan has folded the tent on his 2014 Providence mayoral run, leaving Jorge Elorza as the lone Latino candidate in the race.
Capellan, a longtime political activist, says Elorza didn't encourage him to leave the campaign. Yet it's clear that the departure, coming on the heels of Ward 15 Councilwoman Sabina Matos' decision last week to seek re-election, accrues to Elorza's benefit.
Governor Lincoln Chafee’s departure from next year’s Rhode Island governor’s campaign has scrambled the field. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes on the new generation of leaders likely to vy for the Statehouse.
Whatever you think of his governorship or his policies, Chafee’s decision to drop out of the race passes the torch to a new generation of Rhode Island politicians. Unless you live in a yurt or have totally abandoned following state government, you’ve probably heard of Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo or Allan Fung.
Governor Lincoln Chafee heads to Quebec this week for the 37th annual conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.
On the agenda are the region’s energy future and such related concerns as bringing more Canadian hydro-electric power to New England from the huge Hyrdo-Quebec dams in the northern part of the province.
Chafee is a long-time proponent of hydro-electric energy, which is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel sources and is cheaper than such new renewable sources as off-shore wind turbines.
As the $110 million deficit of January 2011 recedes in the rear-view mirror, Providence still faces sharp economic challenges. One of the most serious is how Rhode Island's capital city desperately needs a broader tax base, even as its highest-in-the-nation commercial taxes discourages the very economic development that would improve the situation.
The two sides discussing a possible settlement over the 2011 overhaul of Rhode Island’s state pension system will have a few more weeks to talk.
The two sides met Thursday afternoon with Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter. In the latest in a series of continuances, she scheduled another update on ongoing mediation in the case for September 30.
Taft-Carter ordered mediation last December after a series of public-employee unions filed a suit over the pension overhaul. The unions say the overhaul went too far in cutting benefits and violated their constitutional rights.