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.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

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On Politics
3:48 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Former State Sen. Lila Sapinsley Dead At 92

Lila Sapinsley,  former state senator from Providence’s East Side and patron of arts, education  and good government causes, has died at her Laurelmead home in Providence. She was 92.

A liberal Republican, Sapinsley rose to become the first woman  Senate Minority Leader and was nearly elected lieutenant governor in 1984, an election she narrowly lost to Democrat Richard Licht.

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On Politics
9:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Seth Magaziner Staffing Up With Jeff Padwa & Andrew Roos

Treasurer-elect Seth Magaziner is hiring Providence City Solicitor Jeff Padwa as deputy treasurer/legal counsel while retaining Andrew Roos as chief of staff.

Magaziner said Padwa brings "a wealth of experience" from his tenure as city solicitor during Providence Mayor Angel Taveras' administration since 2011, including overseeing a staff of more than 30 workers.

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On Politics
3:12 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Statehouse Reporter Edgar To Become ProJo's Deputy Editorial Pages Editor

Randal Edgar, one of the three Statehouse reporters for the Providence Journal, is leaving Smith Hill to become the ProJo's deputy editorial pages editor, RIPR has learned.

Edgar will serve as the deputy to editorial pages editor Edward Achorn in his new role.

Edgar, a 12-year ProJo veteran, declined comment when contacted at the Journal's Statehouse bureau.

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On Politics
1:59 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Raimondo Names Roberts as Her Pick to Lead Health and Human Services

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Sunday said she's nominating Elizabeth Roberts to lead the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services with the expectation that Roberts will make EOHHS a national leader in controlling growing Medicaid costs.

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On Politics
5:33 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

TGIF: 16 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

The incoming administrations are assembling their staffs (read on), as time ticks down for the Class of 2010. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and tips via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

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On Politics
4:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: What's Behind The CVS-Boston Connection

CVS Health headquarters in Woonsocket.
Credit CVS Health

What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and  economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.

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On Politics
3:09 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Mayor-elect Elorza to highlight tonight's Hope Street Holiday Stroll

Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza is making an appearance tonight at the annual Hope Street Merchants Association’s Holiday Stroll along Hope Street.

This event begins at 5:30 p.m. and highlights the businesses along Hope Street. It is a festive event filled with fire jugglers, a petting zoo, musicians  and food trucks. Along with the fun, it serves as reminder of the need to shop local during the holiday season.

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On Politics
4:00 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

RI Sales, Income Tax Collections Up, Gambling Taxes Down

Gambling revenues were down at both Twin River and Newport Grand (pictured) from the same time last year.
Credit RIPR FILE

Some good news for Rhode Island’s  state budget: income and sales tax receipts are up over last year’s totals.

That’s the report from the state Department of Revenue comparing state revenues through October with the same period last year. Income tax collections are 3 percent about last year and sales levies are up 4.3 percent, according to data released today.

On a more sober note, state gambling tax collections are down 1.3 percent from the same period last year.

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On Politics
2:26 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

A.T. Wall to Remain at Corrections under Raimondo

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has decided to keep A.T. Wall, Rhode Island’s longtime corrections director, and the nation’s longest serving corrections head, in his post.

Wall has served as director of corrections since 2000. A graduate of Yale University and  Yale Law School, Wall is a native Rhode Islander who worked as a prosecutor in Manhattan after law school. He is known as erudite and thoughtful and is well-respected within the corrections community locally and nationally.

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On Politics
12:21 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Gorbea Staffs Up With Steve Gerencser, Gonzalo Cuervo & Melissa Long

Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea plans to fill three key posts in her administration with Steve Gerencser as deputy secretary/chief of staff, Gonzalo Cuervo as senior adviser/communications director, and Melissa Long as deputy secretary/director of administration.

Gorbea was the top vote-getter in the November 4 election and became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in New England.

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