2016 RI General Assembly

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Politicians love to say that elections matter. Except when some of them don’t like the results. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why two veteran Democratic lawmakers won’t accept their primary defeats.

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In an election season with few contested Rhode Island races, there is one General Assembly campaign getting lots of attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why all eyes are on a House campaign in the western corner of Cranston.

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While many Ocean State voters are more focused on August vacations than politics, candidates for the legislature are knocking on doors, appearing at coffee hours and pleading for votes at taverns and ethnic clubs.

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  This comes as no surprise, but it is relevant: RI House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston is demoting embattled Rep. John Carnevale, D-Providence, from the Democratic House leadership team.

Even at the Statehouse, loyalty has its limits. In this case, pragmatism and campaign exigencies have triumphed. At the capitol, there is nothing like self-preservation as a motivation.

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

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If you’re wealthy, you may see the British exit from Europe’s economy as an opportunity. 

Dan Beardsley, one of the most candid, colorful and hard-working of all Rhode Island Statehouse lobbyists, is retiring as executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, which represents the interests of municipalities across the state.

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Another week of turmoil in Rhode Island over government grants to non-profit groups. 

Diocese of Providence

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, citing church teachings, has written a column opposing legalization of marijuana.  It is entitled `Nope to Dope.’

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Once again, a Rhode Island lawmaker has resigned from his post after announcing a police investigation.  RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts on House Finance Chairman Ray Gallison’s abrupt departure from Smith Hill. 

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Even though they are illegal, it’s the season of March Madness and gambling pools.

Now, an East Providence state representative wants to make those bracket basketball bets legal in Rhode Island.

Rep. Gregg Amore, a Democrat, has introduced a bill to make `social gaming’ in private residences, taverns and private clubs legal, so long is there is a `social relationship’ among bettors and no person other than bettors receive anything of value.

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Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, today announced his support for providing Rhode Island drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants.

In his statement, Bishop Tobin noted that Catholic bishops in the United States have supported enactment of comprehensive immigration reform. ``Until that finally happens, particular, ad hoc issues such as providing drivers licenses for undocumented individuals will inevitably arise,’’ said Tobin.

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Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers are ensnared in a joust over extending ethics oversight of the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the measure isn’t likely to usher in change on Smith Hill.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island has yet another study on what ails our state’s economy, this time from the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what it will take to translate this plan into action.

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Rhode Island is once again near the bottom in a national ranking of the 50 states.  Usually that’s a reason for concern, but in this case, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the bottom is a good place to be.

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