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
1:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

RI Jobs with Justice to recognize Mike Downey, Mary Kay Harris, others

The liberal activist group RI Jobs with Justice is having its latest awards dinner this Thursday, 6-9 pm, at the Cranston Portuguese Club. Former state rep David Segal sent along the following details:

Jobs With Justice is scrappy, but one of the most important and effective activist organizations in Rhode Island.  The campaign they helped lead in support of a living wage ordinance in Providence is one of the reasons I got involved in politics here and decided to run for City Council a decade ago. 

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Politics
12:22 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

The one percent and Rhode Island's pension overhaul

Old friend (and former ProJo reporter) Mike Corkery of the Wall Street Journal has broken a very interesting Rhode Island pension story. As first picked up by the sharp-eyed Ted Nesi of WRPI_TV, Corkery’s story reveals that a Texas Enron trader billionaire is a hefty contributor to the Engage Rhode Island pension overhaul advocacy group that has been championed by State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Surplus shrinks FY2014 deficit to $70M; long-term spending still a problem

A pre-session House Finance Committee meeting this afternoon offered a mix of good news and bad news: a larger than expected current-year surplus of about $47 million will roughly cut in half the deficit for the budget year starting next July 1, from $130 million to $70 million.

But the state’s structural deficit could grow to about $400 million in five years, due in part to overspending in some state departments. In an interview following the meeting, House Finance chairman Helio Melo said the state needs to be more disciplined:

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On Politics
12:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

It’s orientation day at the General Assembly

The General Assembly taking up business on New Year’s Day will be more Democratic than the last one, with just 11 Republicans (down from 18) among the 113 state reps and state senators. Lawmakers will once again take their seats as the state wrestles with high unemployment and long-term deficits. One of the key questions for the new session is whether legislative leaders will push meaningful economic-development efforts in the aftermath of the meltdown of 38 Studios earlier this year.

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On Politics
12:45 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Firefighters target Raimondo as architect of pension changes

As state Treasurer Gina Raimondo gets set to hold a football-themed fundraiser at Rick’s Roadhouse this evening, here’s a copy of the rally-the-troops email sent out by the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters:

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On Politics
11:30 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Xay’s back in the RI orbit; takes VP job at Webster Bank

Xaykham “Xay” Khamsyvoravong, who managed Frank Caprio’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign and then left Rhode Island to pursue other opportunities, has a new gig: vice president for government and institutional banking at Providence-based Webster Bank.

Via news release:

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On Politics
10:48 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Raimondo looks to broaden her base heading into 2013

Why would a freshly minted political star who has already banked more than $1 million in campaign fundraising stage a $25-per-person (suggested) football-watch event at a barbecue-burger joint in Providence’s Jewelry District on a Monday night in December?

If you’re state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, the answer probably has to do with expanding her base of support in the run-up to the 2014 gubernatorial race.

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On Politics
10:34 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Scott MacKay’s fav books of 2012

In  no particular order, here are my favorite reads of 2012. If you are seeking a gift for the reader on yer list, consider one of these books. And maybe even buy it at a local bookstore, a business that hires local workers and pays taxes in Rhode Island, unlike the on-line booksellers.

Fiction:

THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER. By Junot Diaz. A funny excursion to the 21st Century world of Latino immigration amid the power and pratfalls of obsessive coupling.

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on politics
12:45 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Rhode Island’s pension fund earned just 1.4 pecent in fiscal 2012

Rhode Island’s $7 billion+ pension fund — which is banking on an expected rate of return of 7.5 percent to pay its long-term obligations — earned just 1.4 percent over the fiscal year that ended June 30.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who chairs the state Investment Commission and sparked the move last year to lower the pension fund’s expected rate of return, says she doesn’t think the state’s expected 7.5 percent rate of return is too optimistic. In an interview, she said:

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On Politics
12:45 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Rhode Island’s pension fund earned just 1.4 pecent in fiscal 2012

Rhode Island’s $7 billion+ pension fund — which is banking on an expected rate of return of 7.5 percent to pay its long-term obligations — earned just 1.4 percent over the fiscal year that ended June 30.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who chairs the state Investment Commission and sparked the move last year to lower the pension fund’s expected rate of return, says she doesn’t think the state’s expected 7.5 percent rate of return is too optimistic. In an interview, she said:

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