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
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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On Politics
12:45 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

RI’s Fiscal Cliff Notes

Congress is greeting the holidays with visions of the fiscal cliff dancing in its collective psyche. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some Cliff Notes as we kick off our week-long series on how spending cuts and tax hikes would affect the Ocean State should Congress fail to reach an agreement.

Americans love to lampoon our lawmakers. From Mark Twain to Jon Stewart, senators and representatives have been juicy targets for pundits and satirists. What student of history can forget Twain’s famous dictum that Congress is the nation’s only native criminal class.

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On Politics
10:45 am
Thu December 6, 2012

RI Supreme Court decides not to delay pension case or rule on Taft-Carter

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has declined a state motion to stay the big pension case pending before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter. Via news release:

In the matter of Rhode Island Public Employees’ Retiree Coalition et al v. Lincoln Chafee et al, the Supreme Court today declined to intervene in the union and coalition lawsuits against the state regarding the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Chafee says seeking a pension settlement is in taxpayers’ interest

Governor Lincoln Chafee says the uncertainty and cost of litigating a union challenge to last year’s landmark pension overhaul justify efforts to seek a settlement.

In a telephone interview from Washington, DC, where he’s attending a National Governors Association meeting, Chafee dismissed concerns that a settlement would dilute the pension overhaul to such an extent that it would hurt Rhode Island’s fiscal condition.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Fox sides with Raimondo; Chafee says settlement talks in taxpayers’ interest

In sharp contrast to Governor Lincoln Chafee, House Speaker Gordon Fox is siding with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s argument that the time for negotiating last year’s pension overhaul is over.

Fox’s stance is pivotal; without his support, changes to the pension overhaul are a non-starter in the General Assembly.

Fox offered this statement to RIPR:

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

“Super-lawyer” Boies’ request to practice law in RI expected to be on for Friday

High-profile lawyer David Boies’ request to practice law in Rhode Island is expected to be considered by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter early Friday, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. That’s the same morning when Taft-Carter is slated to hear a state motion to dismiss a union challenge to last year’s pension overhaul.

The granting of permission for an out-of-state lawyer to practice in Rhode Island is usually a formality.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Read the pension settlement letters between Lincoln Chafee and Gina Raimondo

Governor Lincoln Chafee used a November 13 letter to state Treasurer Gina Raimondo to broach the possibility of seeking a settlement to the pension lawsuit.

The ensuing correspondence offers some insight into the two officials’ viewpoints and their personal styles. 

In a letter on his official stationery, Chafee crossed out “Treasurer Raimondo” salutation, replacing it with a handwritten “[Dear] Gina”:

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Solomon’s war chest towers over council colleagues ahead of big Monday fundraiser

As he prepares for a possible mayoral run in 2014, Providence City Council President Michael Solomon has a big fundraising edge over his 14 council colleagues.

Solomon’s war chest was reported at almost $114,000 in a third quarter filing with the state Board of Elections — up from $84,923 at the end of Q1.

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

16 names to consider as the next chair of the RI Democratic Party

UPDATE: Former state Democratic chairman Bill Lynch, who gave up the post in 2010, says he said “no” after being asked recently if he might be interested in returning as chair “It doesn’t fit professionally with what I am doing right now,” says Lynch, a lawyer at Adler Pollock & Sheehan.

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With state Democratic Party chairman Edwin Pacheco mulling a run for secretary of state in 2014, party insiders are already talking succession.

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