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
3:50 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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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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