A bill to extend binding arbitration to teacher contracts -- which last hit the House floor during the 2011 legislative session -- is coming back to the Statehouse.
Binding arbitration legislation sponsored by state Representative Anastasia Williams (D-Providence) is slated for a House Labor Committee hearing Tuesday (following the House session, or about 4:30/5 p.m.) in Room 201. A vote is not expected to take place following the hearing.
The neighborhood we call Rhode Island was clobbered by the giant n’oreaster that began as flurries Friday morning and cascaded into a blizzard with echoes of 1978, leaving our corner of New England buried under two feet or more of fluffy, plump white drifts.
The storm mixed menace, beauty, inconvenience and biting chill. Thousands of us shivered through Friday and Saturday night in houses bereft of electricity as gusts whipped, thermostats plunged and down parkas were our pajamas. .
Another week passes with the usual palaver from the Rhode Island political and business elite on economic development. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says its time for some changes in the way Rhode Islanders view our state and ourselves.
State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.
State Senator Harold Metts joins us for our Bonus Q+A segment to talk about education policy, disproportionately high unemployment for minorities, and what it's like to be racially profiled while serving in the General Assembly.
State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) says the stigma of prison is so severe for former inmates that it's virtually impossible for them to find work after serving their time. He calls that a contributor to the disproportionately high rate of unemployment for minorities in poor parts of the capital city.
“The rate of incarceration is a big factor in the unemployment in certain parts of my district, because once you get that jail record, it ends up being a lifetime sentence, because you can’t get a job.”
Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett, who was among the earliest to emerge as a prospective candidate for secretary of state in 2014, says he'll decide by month's end whether to pursue a campaign for that office.
The field of potential candidates for SoS has changed considerably since Hassett's interest was first reported in mid-2011.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.
The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, a taxpayer advocacy group, is renaming itself as RI Taxpayers. Moderate Party founder Ken Block is signing on as president of the group, Donna Perry is continuing as its executive director, Lisa Blais will serve as lobbyist, and Anchor Rising blogger Monique Chartier will edit the daily e-mail newsletter.
The Rhode Island General Assembly is back in session and in less than a month The House has already taken a historic vote to approve same-sex marriage. While it’s unclear what will happen to that controversial measure in the Senate, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says there’s one hot button issue lawmakers ought to stay away from.