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.

It's peak presidential politics in Rhode Island, with a trio of candidates set to stump in the state this weekend. 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.

With the state Ethics Commission poised to consider likely action on a revolving door complaint against former state Rep. Don Lally, Lally has resigned from his controversial job with the Raimondo administration.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With just five days until Rhode Island’s presidential primary, the campaigns are pushing hard for votes. A close race is expected between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Latino voters could play an important role in the outcome.

R.I. Public Radio, ProJo, East Side Monthly, R.I. Monthly, and Newport Mercury win Metcalf Awards for Diversity in Media, Rhode Island for Community and Justice has announced.

The Providence Journal captured two awards. One went to the paper’s great crime reporter, Amanda Milkovits for her piece entitled `RI’s Minority Police Officers Understand Life On Both Sides of the Blue Line.’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is calling on Governor Gina Raimondo to ask the state Supreme Court for an opinion on the constitutionality of legislative grants.

Happy mid-April, and 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is banning city-financed travel to North Carolina and Mississippi after those states approved laws limiting access to public services and protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

``The city of Providence is committed to fostering an inclusive environment for everyone who lives, travels, and works here,’’ said Elorza, in a statement. ``We stand in solidarity with residents in North Carolina and Mississippi who are being denied the same rights and protections that anyone should expect.’’

The 2017 military construction and Veterans Administration legislation approved today by the Senate Armed Services Committee on a 30-0 vote includes $20 million for a new National Guard readiness center in East Greenwich, Sen. Jack Reed announced today.

Reed, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the $20 million will build a new 80,000 square foot readiness center to support training, administrative and logistical requirements for the Rhode Island Army and Air National Guard.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from February to March at 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Training. The national unemployment rate is at 5.0 percent and neighboring Massachusetts is at 4.4 percent.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Finance Committee members expressed backing Wednesday for the intention of the state’s new effort to boost tourism, despite the much-publicized mistakes in the initial rollout

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign announced that her husband and former President Bill Clinton will campaign for her in in Rhode Island on Thursday, April 14. Former President Clinton will speak at the Community College of Rhode Island Knight Campus in Warwick at 12:30.

The short statement announcing the visit read, "President Clinton will attend a public event where he will discuss why Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to raise wages and break down all the barriers holding families back.’’

Rhode Island's Democratic presidential primary is April 26.

Staci Fischer / RIPR

Heather Abbott, whose injuries sustained in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing spurred her to start a foundation which helps amputees get prosthetic devices, will be the commencement speaker at Providence College’s 98th graduation exercises on May 15 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

Gage Skidmore

If campaign kick-offs are any indication of the respective strengths of the candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, Rhode Island’s April 26th primary will boil down to grass roots Democrats campaigning for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and party leaders supporting Hillary Clinton.

About 250 enthusiastic Sanders acolytes thronged the opening of Sanders Rhode Island headquarters  on Broad Street in Providence this afternoon. They held large light blue `Bernie 2016’  signs and waved them at cars and pedestrians in the South Side neighborhood.

Baseball is back, and the contact sport of politics continues unabated. 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.

Don Borman / RIPR File

  Baseball is back in New England. The Boston Red Sox open their home season this afternoon at Fenway Park and the team hopes to rebound after a last-place finish. Their top minor league club, the Pawtucket Red Sox, face some different challenges this season, says RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

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