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
6:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

On Historic Day, RI Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bills

The Rhode Island Senate approved two virtually identical same-sex marriage bills by a 26-12 margin Wednesday afternoon. The bills still face certain House approval and a signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee, meaning Rhode Island is poised to become the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage, perhaps as soon as next week.

The votes happened with surprising speed after a 17-year effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, filling the Senate chamber and its exterior with scores of joyous supporters.

On Politics
10:48 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Three Top Questions as the RI Senate Is on the Cusp of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Tuesday was a remarkable day in Rhode Island politics. First, the five-member GOP contingent in the 38-member state Senate -- including the chamber's low-key minority leader, Dennis Algiere -- offered its unified support for same-sex marriage. Then, and much more significantly, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio found himself on the wrong side of a key vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rhode Island is now on the cusp of legalizing same-sex marriage.

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On Politics
12:55 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Baldelli-Hunt announces mayoral run in Woonsocket

Putting an end to speculation about her next move, state Represenative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced Tuesday that she's a candidate for mayor in Woonsocket.

Here's part of her statement:

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On Politics
8:29 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Algiere, Bates join RI Senate GOP bloc in backing bill favored by same-sex marriage supporters

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island is gaining momentum among Republicans.
Credit Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

All five Republicans in the 38-member Rhode Island Senate - including Minority Leader Dennis Algiere of Westerly - plan to support the same-sex marriage bill backed by supporters of the issue, RIPR has learned.

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On Politics
4:26 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Gay marriage gaining momentum

As the hours dwindle to tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee consideration of same-sex marriage, it appears advocates of gay unions have an advantage, say State House sources. What is still unknown is what will happen when the issue hits the Senate floor, which could come as early as Wednesday, or more likely, Thursday.

What is clear this time around is that the marriage equality campaign has done a better job this time around than two years ago, when the General Assembly approved civil unions in a compromise that pleased neither side.

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On Politics
8:27 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

New York Times on 38 Studios: Scandal Grew From Political Insiders' Delusions

The Sunday New York Times is out with Matt Bai's lengthy and well-written overview of Rhode Island's disastrous investment in 38 Studios, former Red Sox star Curt Schilling's bankrupt video game company. Bai's story doesn't offer much in the way of new findings, but it will expose the Ocean State's folly to a broad audience of influentials.

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On Politics
4:29 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

TGIF: 12 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

With the aftermath of this week's Boston Marathon attack remaining in the forefront of headlines, we're keeping the focus on politics in my Friday column. Thanks for stopping by; as always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

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On Politics
3:50 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Forever Boston

After the mourning comes the reckoning. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why Boston will not only survive, but thrive.

The year was 1976 and Boston, the nation’s birthplace, was celebrating the American bicentennial with paeans to liberty, equality and justice. But the city that spawned the abolition and women's rights movements was riven by racial division.

The image of Boston that flashed around the world that year was a photograph of a black man being assaulted by an angry white man using as a spear a staff with an American flag on it.

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On Politics
3:33 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Senate Judiciary Sets Same-Sex Marriage vote for Tuesday

Competing same-sex marriage bills -- one backed by supporters, one backed by opponents -- are set to receive a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 3 pm Tuesday afternoon.

Same-sex marriage supporters back the bill introduced by Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) that would grant marriage rights through the legislature.

Opponents favor a bill introduced by Senator Frank Ciccone that vote make the issue subject to a statewide vote. It also includes broad religious and other exemptions.

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On Politics
3:19 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Providence Public Library workers union wins in RI Supreme Court

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has overturned a lower court decision that barred  unionized employees of the Providence Public Library from collecting about $150,000 in accumulated vacation pay.

In a decision released today, the high court vacated a decision by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter that barred the unionized workers from collecting the money because their union, the United Service and Allied Workers of Rhode Island, did not file a timely  appeal of a state Department of Labor Training opinion .

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