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.

Full archives of this blog can be found here.

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On Politics
12:53 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Cianci Not Ruling Out a Run for Mayor in 2014

In contrast to a New York Times interview suggesting he doesn't plan on pursuing a comeback, Providence political legend Vincent A. Cianci Jr. says he hasn't ruled out a run for mayor next year.

"You never say never," Cianci said Friday afternoon, adding that he may not reveal his plans until the candidate filing deadline in June 2014. "That's when you'll know," he said.

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On Politics
11:04 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Testimony: Independent Monitoring Promised to 38 Studios' Investors Wasn't Put in Place

Although investors in 38 Studios were promised prior to the closing of a $75 million state loan guaranty in 2010 that IBM would offer independent third-party monitoring of the company and its performance, IBM didn't sign a contract to provide that monitoring and independent oversight was never put in place, according to testimony presented last week to a legislative committee.

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On Politics
2:50 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Superman Building Competing For State Office Space Contract

The owner of the vacant Industrial Trust Building -- aka the Superman Building -- submitted a bid in response to a state RFP for 70,000 to 80,000 square feet of office space.

Bill Fischer, a spokesman for High Rock Development, says the bid was submitted in time for a June 3 deadline. "We wanted to keep any and all options open," Fischer says. "We did respond," even though High Rock continues to believe that a residential conversion offers the best future for the historic structure.

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On Politics
1:06 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Chafee Picks Cicilline Aide Fierro for RI Board of Review

Governor Lincoln Chafee has nominated Congressman David Cicilline's district director, Chris Fierro -- an early supporter of Chafee in 2010 -- to chair the Rhode Island Board of Review.

Fierro, a former state rep from Woonsocket with strong ties to labor, faces Senate confirmation. The governor's office says the job will pay between $77,810 and $88,177.

Per news release:

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On Politics
11:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Block Calls RI's Budget Process "Completely Backwards"

Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block says the speed with which the House Finance Committee votes on an $8.2 billion budget -- just hours after learning the details -- is a backwards way of doing things.

As Block notes in a news release, Tuesday's committee vote on the budget stands in contrast to the typical hearing process:

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On Politics
5:31 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Young Democrats of RI slam House Finance Budget

The Young Democrats of Rhode Island are slapping the older Democrats in their party who run the Statehouse. In a statement, the Young Democrats take issue with the proposed state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 that won House Finance Committee approval.

While the group ``commended’’ the Assembly for adding money for the state’s school funding formula and restoring funding for developmentally disabled citizens, the Young Democrats skewered other budget priorities.

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On Politics
4:35 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

RI Supreme Court rejects Providence Teachers Union on retiree health care premiums

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by the union representing Providence teachers to control  health insurance premiums paid by retired city teachers.

In an opinion authored by Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg, the court upheld a Superior Court decision that ruled that the union’s contract with the Providence School Board allowed the board to charge retired teachers more for health care premiums than active teachers.

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On Politics
4:11 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

NY Mayor Bloomberg switches from Chafee to Raimondo

It appears that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, has switched his affinity from Gov. Lincoln Chafee to RI General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the 2014 Ocean State campaign for governor.

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On Politics
5:56 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Moody's Downgrades 38 Studios' Bonds; Chafee "Confident" on Payment

Moody's Investors Service isn't taking lightly debate about whether to pay back bonds issued to fund the state's investment in 38 Studios. The agency has downgraded the 38 Studios' bonds and warned Rhode Island of other possible action:

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On Politics
4:02 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

The new Rhode Island: Gambling is us

There’s an old chestnut in banking: If you owe the bank $10,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $100 million, you own the bank.

That’s pretty much what has happened in Rhode Island state government’s quest to regulate the state-sponsored gambling emporiums at Newport Grand and at Twin River (aka Twin Rivahs in Vo Dilundese) in Lincoln.

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