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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Politics
2:18 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Chafee declares support for eliminating the master lever

Governor Lincoln Chafee is throwing his support behind eliminating the master lever.

“It is time for Rhode Island to join the majority of states and eliminate the Master Lever from the ballot,” said Governor Chafee. “Any mechanism that contributes to voter confusion – and worse, voter disenfranchisement – should not be on the ballot. Its time has come.”

In a news release, the governor says eliminating the master lever will further align Rhode Island with neighboring states and provide its citizens with more open and transparent government. 

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Politics
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Four new senators added to Judiciary; impact unclear for same-sex marriage

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed unveiled her new selections Tuesday afternoon for the Senate Judiciary Committee with a series of subtractions (Maryellen Goodwin, William Walaska) and additions of newly elected lawmakers (William Conley, Steve Archambault, Lou Raptakis, and Frank Lombardi). What all this means in the coming fight over same-sex marriage isn't entirely clear, although Senate leaders certainly possess the ability to kill the drive for what proponents call "marriage equality." 

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Politics
4:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Former federal official calls RI pension case "the mother of all mediations"

A former head of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service -- the government arm mediating Rhode Island's pension dispute among eight parties -- calls the case "the mother of all mediations."

Peter J. Hurtgen, who led the FMCS from 2002 through 2004, says a subset of the eight parties in mediation could potentially reach some areas of agreement among themselves. But he says the complexity of the case makes it unusually fraught for mediation:

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Politics
10:17 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Tobin warns General Assembly against same-sex marriage, calling it "immoral and unnecessary"

In a sign of the intensifying battle to come, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is calling on the General Assembly to not pass a same-sex marriage bill.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

TGIF: 12 things to know about RI politics + media

A New Year, a new General Assembly session, and the formal/informal start of the 2014 campaign season are upon us. Welcome to another edition of my Friday column. Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me your tips or thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (org). Here's the rundown:

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Politics
6:17 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Senate bill would delay part of education board merger until September

A bill introduced Wednesday by state Senator Hanna Gallo would delay until September 1 the “final plan for the permanent administrative structure” for the controversial combined state Board of Education.

In a signal of a green light for the bill, cosponsors include Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Mediating the RI pension case -- and what it means for 2014

The court-ordered pension mediation set to begin this month will take place against an intensifying political backdrop: the early stage of the 2014 gubernatorial race. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says politics can remain separate and apart from the mediation process.

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Politics
6:29 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Fox, Paiva Weed easily regain leadership posts; pledge greater economic focus

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed cruised to re-election in their leadership positions Tuesday while pledging increased legislative attention to trying to boost Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

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On Politics
1:22 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Are there too many lawyers in the General Assembly?

As the General Assembly starts a new session on Tuesday, one legislative constant will remain unchanged -- a lot of the 113 lawmakers on Smith Hill are lawyers.

The ProJo's Political Scene says there are 24 lawyers in the legislature -- 15 in the 75-member House and nine in the 38-member Senate:

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On Politics
4:29 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

TGIF: Answering RI's 12 top political questions of 2012

We’re offering a slight break from TGIF’s usual format this week with a look back at how 12 of the big questions of Rhode Island politics played out in 2012. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments on the blog or by email: idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

Question 1. Will Governor Lincoln Chafee offer a more coherent message that helps lift his slumping approval rating?

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