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.

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Fort Myers, so glimmers of spring are slowly approaching. 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.

Gage Skidmore / Southern New Hampshire University/flickr

Rhode Islander Tad Devine is the chief messenger for insurgent Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay caught up with Devine recently to talk about Sanders surprising success.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Joseph Azrack, chairman of the I-195 District Development Commission, touts 2016 as a time when the district will move closer to the goal of becoming an economic generator for the state.

RIPR FILE

Andrew Dickerman, who spent decades as a Providence Journal photographer and had a memorable encounter with the Rolling Stones in 1972, has died while backpacking in southeast Asia, according to his daughter.

It’s that time of the year again – As the song trills: It’s Follies Time at The Veeeenus De Milo!

Longtime Rhode Islanders know what that means. So for the uninitiated, or if you’ve been living in a yurt for the past year, the event is always held the last Friday in February, which is Feb. 26th this year. It is the social and political event of the season -  the Providence Newspaper Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass.

Wikimedia Commons

As the nation pays its final respects to Antonin Scalia, the brilliant legal scholar and conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice, one interest group breathing a sigh of relief is organized labor, particularly the public employee unions.

That’s because one of the crucial cases likely to be affected by Scalia’s passing is the future of public employee unions. Under a California legal joust that was decided in favor of the unions in the lower courts, a union’s right to charge dues to members who are not union members, but are part of a collective bargaining unit, was up in the air.

Quite the busy week in Rhode Island politics, with RhodeWorks sprinting through the legislature. Thanks for stopping by. 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

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Friday called for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to launch a House Oversight investigation into whether the state Department of Transportation pressured state reps to support the new truck toll law ahead of the House vote earlier this week.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Almost nine months after unveiling the initial version of her infrastructure proposal, Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed into law a revised version of RhodeWorks that will trigger new tolls on big trucks on Rhode Island highways.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After seven hours of often sharp debate, the House of Representative on Wednesday voted, 52-21, to approve the revised version of Governor Gina Raimondo's plan to fix the state's crumbling infrastructure through new tolls on big trucks. 

New Hampshire Public Radio

The only sure element of the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, in the aftermath of the New Hampshire primary , is that both Democrats and Republicans now face long nominating battles.

The party elites hate this – short and sweet nominating contests work best for them. Long campaigns drain money and effort away from the general election and create internecine jousts. That doesn’t mean, as in the Democratic battle of 2008, that the primary wounds can’t be healed, but it does take time.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The revised bill to fix Rhode Island's crumbling bridges through new tolls on big trucks appears head to fast final passage before the end of the week, despite warnings from critics who see the plan as a threat to the state's economy.

On a 14-4 vote, House Finance Committee approved the so-called RhodeWorks bill. Rep. Ray Hull (D-Providence) joined three committee Republicans, Patricia Morgan of West Warwick, Daniel Reilly of Portsmouth, and Anthony Giarrusso of East Greenwich, in opposing the measure.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Thousands of admirers of Buddy Cianci streamed to City Hall Saturday and Sunday, during a two-day public wake, to pay their respects to the storied former mayor of Providence.

Rick Simone, a former Cianci aide, estimated that 3,500 people turned out by mid-afternoon Sunday, about the same number that came to see the former mayor lying in respose during six hours on Saturday.

Budget. Truck Tolls. Presidential Politics. It's all going on, 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.

Mourners can pay respects to the late Buddy Cianci at City Hall on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 6 and 7). His body will lie in repose at City Hall from noon to 6 p.m. both days. Those wishing to pay respects should enter via the Washington Street City Hall entrance.

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