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
4:42 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Where is the R.I. Minimum Wage debate?

While economists and media outlets from Providence to Seattle engage in hand-wringing over inequality, Rhode Island’s political leaders seem to have no solutions at all. Smith Hill is bogged down in ridiculous debates over the master lever and the never-ending tsunami that is 38 Studios. Yet, we don’t hear much of anything about raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8 an hour rate.

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On Politics
9:00 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Fiscal Advisers Say More Info Need to Decide 38 Studios' Repayment Question

URI's Leonard Lardaro speaks to House Oversight.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Outside fiscal advisers told the House Oversight Committee Thursday that lawmakers need more information to decide the merits of paying debt related to the failed video game company 38 Studios.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
3:40 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Master Lever Myths

State lawmakers have been fighting over the master lever for years, but how much does it really matter?
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Eliminating the master lever in Rhode Island elections is picking up steam in the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay says getting rid of straight party voting may be much ado about not much.

The Rhode Island House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to end the so-called master lever, a relic of the state’s urban political machine past. A conga line of statewide elected politicians, from Gov. Lincoln Chafee down to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, support this change.

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On Politics
2:25 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Chafee blasts Block, Fung on 38 Studios debt. They fire back

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hammered Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Ken Block, the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, for their advocacy of defaulting on the 38 Studios debt.

Chafee said in a news release that paying the debt is necessary for the state to continue its recovery from the recession and recoup taxpayer money via the courts.

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On Politics
3:57 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

S&P Warns RI Of Slipping Credit If The State Balks On 38 Studios' Debt

Standard & Poor's Rating Services has put Rhode Island's credit on watch with negative implications due to ongoing debate about paying back bondholders who invested in the failed video game company 38 Studios.

In an advisory released Monday, S&P said it was lowering the rating on bonds issued by the Economic Development Corporation for 38 Studios in 2010 from A to BBB.

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On Politics
4:40 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

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

Welcome back to my Friday column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week via the twitters. Let's head in.

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On Politics
2:27 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

RI Assembly Caught in Curt Schilling Rundown Pickle

So here’s another report that shows just how badly the General Assembly has fumbled the 38 Studios ball. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has released a financial consultant’s report that shows that it would cost less for the state to pay off the 38 Studios  bonds than to default.

The finding, by the firm SJ Advisors, states that Rhode Island’s credit rating would take a significant hit if the state walked away from the $75 million in  bond obligations to those who invested retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s folly, 38 Studios.

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On Politics
12:49 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

State-Commissioned Report Finds RI Better Off Paying Back 38 Studios' Investors

Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A report commissioned by the Chafee administration has found that even under the best-case scenario, Rhode Island will be better off paying back bondholders who invested in the failed video-game company 38 Studios.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:06 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Lawmakers Swept 38 Studios Under The Rug

It's been nearly four years since the General Assembly approved state support for the now-defunct video game company 38 Studios.
Credit RIPR FILE

What’s worse than the 38 Studios fiasco for Rhode Island ‘s political and economic reputation? RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay points to the aftermath.

It’s been nearly four years since  then- Gov. Donald Carcieri, the state Economic Development Corporation and the General Assembly foisted the disaster that is 38 Studios on Rhode Island taxpayers.

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On Politics
4:37 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Rep. Frank Ferri of Warwick mulling Democratic Lt. Gov. run

Rep. Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, said today he may become the third candidate to vy for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

Ferri represents House District 22. He was first elected in a 2007 special election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Peter Ginaitt, who left the House for an executive post at the Lifespan hospital chain.

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