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 / RIPR

In a decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court has given the okay for states to legalize sports betting -- a move that Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo expects to add $23.5 million in new revenue for the budget year starting July 1.

The May Revenue Estimating Conference is in the books, signaling the beginning of the end of the legislative session, and all the excitement that comes with that. So 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.

File Photo

Health care costs for poor residents keep increasing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if one of these state governments is giving some businesses a free ride.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A Rhode Island lawmaker believes the state economic development agency should have to win legislative approval to pass out grants or loans of more than $5 million.

Rhode Island’s economy is generating more revenue that was estimated last November, mainly because of a healthy increase in income tax receipts, the state Department of Revenue said today in a report.

RIPR File Photo

Rhode Island’s all Democratic Washington, D.C. delegation criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement, but Republican U.S. Senate aspirant Bob Flanders hailed the president’s stance.

To honor Mothers’ Day, Providence religious leaders this weekend will urge support for “common sense” gun regulations.

Four city houses of worship will celebrate turn “Guns into Plowshares” weekend with prayer and presentations of decommissioned firearms that will be transformed into garden tools by metal artists working at The Steel Yard in Providence.

The four faith communities participating in this event are First Unitarian Church in Providence; Temple Beth-El; The First Baptist Church in America; and Central Congregational Church.

Ian Donnis/File Photo

Ward 2 Providence City Councilor Sam Zurier used his weekly note to constituents to announce he won't be seeking re-election this year.

Zurier, who was first elected in 2010, said he based his decision on an assessment of "the current state of the city, the work I believe City Hall needs to carry out, and my own skills and limitations."

It might be spring, it might feel like summer, but the signals of an intensifying election season are increasingly evident. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.


Providence is looking to solve a yawning employee pension problem by leveraging the water system that supplies drinking water to 60 percent of Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this plan deserves more scrutiny.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The Pawtucket Red Sox are getting closer to an agreement on language for a revised Pawtucket stadium proposal that could be heard by a Rhode Island General Assembly committee later this month, a team consultant said Thursday.

PawSox consultant Guy Dufault said the progress follows ongoing talks between the team, the city of Pawtucket, and staffers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

"[Pawtucket] Mayor [Don] Grebien has said to me he felt they were making substantial progress," Dufault said.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, wants to limit state lawmakers to five two-year terms, create an office of inspector general, and institute the use of photo IDs for food benefits and add work requirements for able-bodied people receiving welfare.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A plan unveiled Tuesday by Rhode Island GOP gubernatorial candidate Patricia Morgan would scrap truck tolls, reduce taxes, add three Quonset-style business parks, and create an office of inspector general to help pay for some of the lost revenue.

John Foresté

Clare Russell Gregorian, a pivotal force in the establishment of Rhode Island Public Radio, wife of former Brown University President Vartan Gregorian and a staunch advocate for women’s reproductive rights, died Saturday in New York after a long battle with obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 80.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2018, giving her a huge financial advantage over opponents as she seeks re-election.

Raimondo's campaign said she received 990 contributions "from every corner of the state, totaling more than $528,000 in the quarter."

The Democratic governor's campaign said that "both the number of Rhode Island contributions and the amount of money that Rhode Islanders contributed to Raimondo’s campaign in the quarter far exceeded Rhode Island contributions to any other candidate."