The NY Times has a trenchant piece by Adam Liptak today on the outsize clout that small states have in the U.S. Senate. This will come as no surprise to political junkies and constitutional scholar types, but more casual observers of Congressional politics may be surprised to learn just how much better off small states are in the U.S. Senate, where each state is represented by a pair of senators, regardless of population.
Searching for waste and fraud in government would seem to be a win-win for a governor. Yet Lincoln Chafee has received the brunt of a critical backlash by declining to make public Ken Block's report on that subject. In an effort to explain himself, Chafee has released this statement:
Rhode Island’s older population is on the rise, and in 20 years a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60. All this week, we’re looking at the state’s older residents in a series we’re calling “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island.” RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay helps us kick off our series with a look at what this growing older population means for younger residents.
Educator Victor Capellan, a veteran of Latino politics in Rhode Island, says he plans to run for mayor of Providence in 2014 if Angel Taveras seeks a different office.
Taveras, like state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is widely expected to run for governor. Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to seek re-election; the only other declared candidate at this point is former state auditor Ernest Almonte, a Democrat.
Barring a Republican takeover of the US Senate, Senator Jack Reed is poised to take over the chairmanship in 2015 of the Senate Armed Services Committee. That's due to just-announced plans by the current chair, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, to not seek re-election next year.
In a sign that Rhode Island finally, albeit slowly, is emerging from the recession, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly in January to 9.8 percent, from 9.9 percent in December.
The good news is that January represented the third consecutive month of job growth in the state. Hiring was led by the retail and restaurant industries. The jobless rate has dropped considerably since the high of 11.9 percent in January, 2010.
Woonsocket City Council President John Ward is concerned that jobs provided by CVS Caremark Corporation could vanish if the company loses a big chunk of a state tax credit.
"Based on their reaction, I'm a little concerned," Ward said, referring to how CVS lobbyist Robert Goldberg said the company may reconsider its ties to Rhode Island if it loses part of a job development tax credit worth about $15 million a year.
As the wait continues for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up a same-sex marriage bill, supporters and opponents are continuing grassroots campaigns trumpeting their point of view. One of their points of contention is whether there's a political cost for lawmakers for lawmakers who vote in support of same-sex marriage.