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
3:12 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

RI Unemployment Rate Drops

In a sign of good news for Rhode Island’s struggling economy, the state Department of Labor and Training reports that the state unemployment rate dropped in March to 9.1 percent, from 9.4 percent in February. The March rate represents the lowest since November 2008.

Rhode Island jobs increased by 1,500 in March, but the state’s workforce still has a long way to go before it reaches the pre-recession level of  December, 2006.

In the past year the unemployment rate in the Ocean State has declined by 1.5 percentage points, the biggest drop since the mid 1980s.

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On Politics
10:07 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Ramping Up Grassroots Campaign in Home Stretch

With a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on same-sex marriage legislation expected as soon as next week, the group leading the campaign in favor of legalization says it plans to deploy more than 300 people this weekend to knock on doors and make phone calls.

Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, says the stepped-up effort is meant to connect constituents in key Senate districts with their legislators "to carry the message and the banner that it's finally time to pass marriage equality."

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On Politics
4:08 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Social Event of the Season Thursday at the MET!

Please come to the social/good cause event of  the season on Thursday, April 18, at the MET in Pawtucket: The `Made in Rhode Island’ Spring Benefit fundraising event for Rhode Island Public Radio featuring NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.

This soiree begins at 6 p.m. at the MET, located in Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket.

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On Politics
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Intended Grandfathering Language Left out of RI Assault Weapon Bill; Drafting Error Cited

Legislative language that would allow Rhode Islanders who own guns defined as assault weapons to keep them after the July 1 effective date is missing from the relevant bill.

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On Politics
5:28 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Big Kennedy Plaza changes afoot; some buses to be cut

Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are scheduled on Thursday to announce major changes to Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence with an event at the Providence Biltmore Hotel on Thursday evening.

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On Politics
3:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

We are all Bostonians

Copley Square, Boston
Credit Gino Roncaglia / flickr creative commons

Few days are anticipated in New England like the unofficial first day of real spring, Patriots Day. It marks the annual commemoration of  the  battles at Lexington and Concord, the shots heard around the world that were the first battles of the Revolutionary War.  It is these iconic events of American freedom that we celebrate.

In Massachusetts, it is a mélange of civic holiday and the biggest street party anywhere. Workers have the day off. Schools are out. America’s college town kids party and join the locals lining the streets to watch the marathon.

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On Politics
6:02 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Brown's wise engineering decision

Is there really any serious opposition to Brown University’s decision to expand its engineering school on College Hill rather than in the old Jewelry District?

The Providence Journal’s story and headline on Thursday had a curious headline and lede, focusing on the location of  the engineering school rather than the impressive news that our state’s lone Ivy League college is getting into technology education in a major way.

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On Politics
4:40 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

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

Happy Friday and welcome back. Your tips and thoughts are always appreciated in my inbox at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's dive in.

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On Politics
1:02 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Providence pension deal gets final approval; challenges remain

Taveras during a 2012 address at City Hall
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

In what Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls a historic day, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter gave final approval Friday for a deal that will reduce the capital city's $900 million+ unfunded pension liability by $178 million. The agreement followed negotiations between the city and police and fire unions and municipal retirees.

"Today is the end of a long, long road that we've traveled," Taveras said in an interview. "I feel a lot of relief and gratitude to all the employees and retirees especially who have agreed to help the city."

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On Politics
5:41 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Newport Grand seeking state help

The Newport Grand slot machine parlor lost its attempt to expand with Las Vegas-style table games in last November’s election. Now Newport Grand is seeking a break from state gaming taxes while the gambling emporium decides its next move.

Under legislation introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly, Newport Grand is looking to decrease the share of gambling revenues it send to the state by about $3 million over the next two years, according to Diane Hurley, owner of Newport Grand.

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