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
3:34 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fung Calls For Immediate Release of Details on Pension Settlement

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung is calling for the immediate release of details about a settlement of the state pension dispute.

The federal mediation service that oversaw more than a year of closed-door talks plans to unveil the details during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, Fung say it’s past time to let local officials on what was discussed during months of closed-door talks.

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On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pension settlement and the General Assembly: Is it doomed this year?

What everyone in the Rhode Island political swirl should understand about the state pension overhaul settlement details that are due for release tomorrow: This is very likely to be only the beginning of a protracted process.

One thing we know for sure. Even if it is fair and reasonable, not everyone is going to like it. Some unionized state employees and teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than a full restoration of the pension benefits that were sliced dramatically in the 2011 special General Assembly pension session.

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On Politics
3:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Chafee, Raimondo, Fox, Paiva Weed get closed-door pension briefing

This just in from RIPR's Ian Donnis:

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, State  Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Tersea  Paiva Weed met privately at the State House this afternoon for  a 90-minute closed-door briefing on the proposed state pension overhaul legal settlement.

The settlement details are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.  The parties to the pension lawsuit have been under a gag order by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter for more than a year. None of the state officials in today’s meeting disclosed any settlement details.

On Politics
1:35 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Pension settlement and polls: The 2014 RI Governor's race

This week brings crucial developments in the 2014 Rhode Island governor’s race: tomorrow a WPRI-Providence Journal public opinion survey releases veteran pollster Joe Fleming’s numbers on the race. Then on Wednesday, the most important new twist comes when the legal settlement in the 2011 state public employee pension overhaul is made public.

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On Politics
11:19 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Pension Settlement Set For Unveiling Wednesday; Deal Shrouded in Secrecy

State officials and the public-employee unions that sued over a 2011 overhaul of the state pension system have reached a settlement, yet the deal remains shrouded in secrecy in advance of its expected unveiling Wednesday afternoon.

Governor Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo briefed House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed on highlights of the agreement during a closed-door Statehouse meeting Monday afternoon. Fox declined to offer any specifics after emerging from the meeting:

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On Politics
1:38 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Steven Smith stepping down as Providence Teacher Union president

Steven Smith, a former state representative and the longtime president of the Providence Teachers Union, is retiring.

Smith says his retirement after 33 years as a teacher and union leader is scheduled to be considered by the Providence School Board at a meeting tomorrow.

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On Politics
5:29 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A sensible undocumented immigrant driver's license plan

One sensible solution for the controversy over Rhode Island licenses for undocumented immigrants: give out special licenses so long as the motorist takes the drivers’ test in English.

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On Politics
5:04 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

TGIF: 15 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Thanks for stopping by for a visit with my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week long on the twitters.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
4:06 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Where To Put The Probation Office?

Downtown Providence, recently proposed as a location for a state probitition office.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / RIPR

The plan to locate a state probation office on Fountain Street in downtown Providence is dead. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the debate on where it ought to go may be just beginning.

After an outcry ignited by Angus Davis, one of Rhode Island’s top young high-tech entrepreneurs, Governor Lincoln Chafee’s administration has pulled back a proposal to move a state probation office from a gritty South Providence neighborhood to a downtown venue nestled among the Providence Journal Building, The Rhode Island Convention Center and the Providence Biltmore Hotel.

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On Politics
2:50 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Kilmartin Hires Ernie Carlucci As His Chief of Staff

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has hired Ernest "Ernie" J. Carlucci, a former deputy district director for Congressman David Cicilline, as his chief of staff. The move comes as Kilmartin faces a re-election challenge this year from state Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown).

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