Allan Fung

Gov. Gina  Raimondo’s first budget proposes stripping about $2.5 million in state Payments-in-lieu of Taxes aid from Providence city government and another $1.1 million in such payments from Cranston. If you believe the General Assembly is going to allow these cuts you probably believe in the Easter Bunny.

Raimondo’s problem: The communities being hit on this one happen to be home to two of the most influential state lawmakers –House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston, and House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has named a new Director of Administration for the city.  Robert Coupe is a corporate lawyer with a private practice.  

Coupe also served as an attorney for the state of Massachusetts under former governor Mitt Romney.  Coupe served as spokesman for Fung during his unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island governor.     

Mayor Fung said he selected Coupe because, “he offers the right combination of strong public policy experience with a private-sector commitment to promoting greater efficiency and accountability in city government.” 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.

RIPR FILE

Democrat Gina Raimondo outspent Republican rival Allan Fung by a more than 2-to-1 margin during the 2014 campaign. Raimondo will be sworn in as governor January 6th.

Raimondo spent more than five million dollars as part of her winning run for governor. She beat Fung on a 4-point margin in the November 4th election. Fung himself spent about $2 million during the campaign.  The two candidates have almost exhausted their accounts. Raimondo has just less than $50 thousand left in her war chest, while Fung has about $66 thousand.

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