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.

Same-sex marriage legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The House Judiciary Committee approved marriage equality legislation proposed by Rep. Art Handy, D-Cranston on a unanimous vote. The historic move represents the first time any committee in either RI legislative chamber has approved a gay marriage measure.

See you in a bit

Jan 21, 2013

I'm taking a little time off, and will return here before long. Stay tuned to the RIPR Web site for plenty of news in the interim.

RI pols and guns

Jan 18, 2013

For once Rhode Island politicians have a chance at being part of the solution. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says even a small State House change on gun violence would resonate with voters.

Welcome back to my Friday column. Your thoughts and emails are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis

Glimmers of Lincoln Chafee's campaign message for 2014 are starting to emerge as part of the media offensive in support his latest budget.

EngageRI, the pro-pension overhaul group started with encouragement from state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is reminding Governor Lincoln Chafee of how pension savings made possible many of the initiatives in his new budget.

EngageRI chairman John Galvin says in a statement:

Governor Lincoln Chafee is winning a measure of plaudits for a budget with no new taxes and a proposed cut of the corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over three years. But a tax initiative by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is raising uncertainly about the net effect of Chafee's initiative.

After trying unsuccessfully for the last two years to get the General Assembly to go along with a series of tax proposals, Governor Lincoln Chafee goes in a very different direction with his proposal for the budget year starting July 1. The budget eschews tax hikes and proposes cutting Rhode Island's corporate tax from 9 percent to 7 percent over three years.

Making Rhode Island more competitive and getting Rhode Islanders back to work are central points of Governor Lincoln Chafee's State of the State address tonight.

Budget staffers and other members of the governor's administration held a background briefing for reporters a short time ago at the Department of Administration building on Smith Hill. The details are embargoed until Chafee begins his speech this evening in the House chamber.

But in addition to the points in the first sentence of the post, the Chafee administration also plans to emphasize:

Ian Donnis

A House Judiciary Committee hearing kicked off Tuesday with testimony from the lead sponsor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, state Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston). He said it was the eleventh time he has introduced such legislation, but wasn't sure precisely how long similar bills have been filed. Handy said he thought the first was 18 years ago, but his point was really that the time has long since come to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island.

A report released Tuesday morning by the state Senate and the business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council uses a color-coded system to assess the state's performance on different economic indicators and recommends a series of steps for improvingits underperforming economy.

Ian Donnis

A vote isn't expected when the House Judiciary Committee holds (at the rise, in Room 313) what will likely be a lengthy hearing Tuesday on the same-sex marriage bill sponsored by Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston). But a historic House floor vote on same-sex marriage may come as soon as next week.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee delivers his annual State of the State Speech this week. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why the governor’s words are crucial.

Lincoln Chafee has been governor for two years, but can any of  his constituents honestly point to an accomplishment or speech that addresses our state’s crying need: a better economy that generates needed jobs.

Ian Donnis

Connie Grosch, the highly respected photojournalist who was laid off in November as part of broader cost-cutting at the Providence Journal, has been hired as the press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline.

"I couldn't be more thrilled," says Grosch, who is slated to start in the new role on January 22.

Time for my my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share thoughts via email at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and stay abreast of stuff during the week with my Twitter feed.