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:
The fate of the 2011 pension overhaul in mediation is among the top issues facing the state starting this month. As we transition into the New Year, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis has been talking with state leaders. We’ve already heard from Governor Lincoln Chafee and state Senate president Teresa Paiva Weed…. Our latest interview is with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
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.
Providence police on Thursday approved, by an 89 percent margin, a settlement with the City of Providence that, the city says, saves $18.5 million in the current budget year and cuts the pension plan’s unfunded liability by at least $170 million. The vote, word which came in via mobile phones as city officials joined reporters for a holiday party at the home of David Ortiz, Mayor Angel Taveras’ press secretary, is the latest in a string of negotiated settlements in Providence.
Why would a freshly minted political star who has already banked more than $1 million in campaign fundraising stage a $25-per-person (suggested) football-watch event at a barbecue-burger joint in Providence’s Jewelry District on a Monday night in December?
If you’re state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, the answer probably has to do with expanding her base of support in the run-up to the 2014 gubernatorial race.
With anticipation swirling about a possible Democratic primary clash between Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras in the 2014 governor’s race, the only announced candidate — former auditor general Ernest Almonte – says he’s in the campaign for good.
That’s a big question, since Block says he plans to split his ticket on Tuesday, voting for President Obama and Republican CD1 candidate Brendan Doherty. If Doherty is going to prevail as Rhode Island’s great GOP hope, he needs tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders to do the same thing.
Block explained his stance during a taping of RIPR’s Bonus Q+A, which will air Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 am: