Brian Newberry

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is praising the budget approved by a legislative committee Tuesday a pro-business spending plan for the state. The budget is considered a political victory for Governor Gina Raimondo since she got most of what she wanted.

The House Finance Committee’s budget eliminates the business sales tax on utilities, reduces the $500 corporate minimum tax by $50, and includes incentives meant to spark jobs. Speaker Mattiello points to how it also cuts taxes on Social Security benefits and increases a tax credit meant to help the poor.

Happy New Year! Is it the dawn of a new era in Rhode Island, or just a fresh path to more of the same? The answers will come in the months and years ahead, and we'll be following them here each week. So thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a tip or comment at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the outlook for RI Republicans, his legislative priorities for 2015, what went wrong for Allan Fung, and other issues.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss expectations for Governor-elect Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza, as well as state tax policy, HealthSource RI, and more.

This just in: Gordon Fox has resigned as RI House Speaker. Here's why in a post that predicted this and was posted several hours before the Fox announcement:

As promised by House Minority Leader Brian Newberry, the six-member House GOP caucus is moving ahead with a 16-point plan, dubbed "Getting to 25," intended to improve Rhode Island's economy.

The 2014 political year kicks off in earnest with the start of a new legislative session Tuesday (and the lingering shadow of the unresolved closed-door pension mediation). Thanks for stopping by for my (slightly delinquent, slightly abbreviated) weekly column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-Smithfield) joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the upcoming General Assembly session and a variety of other issues, including economic development, the master lever, 38 Studios, the race for governor and more.

Welcome back to my Friday column, and thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get going:

On a 40-25 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impose a 10-cent toll on the new Sakonnet River Bridge.  The move comes after the House last week delayed plans for tolls on the bridge.

Lawmakers said they reversed course because a federal requirement bans the addition of new tolls once a bridge is substantially complete. One opponent of tolls, Tiverton Representative John Edwards, said he hopes the Sakonnet toll might still be eliminated in the future.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a development unheard of in recent history, the Rhode Island House of Representations ended a 10-hour budget session Wednesday without approving a spending plan. The budget remains 13 million dollars out of balance due to a rare defeat for House leaders.

The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House of Representatives is urging lawmakers to reject calls to pay back bonds for failed video game company 38 Studios.  Other state officials say a failure to pay back the bonds will hurt the state.

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says the 6 Republicans in the House will unanimously oppose any effort to repay the 38 Studios bonds. He said legislative Democrats are rushing to judgment on the issue without having done their homework.

The Republican leader in the Rhode Island House says he plans to vote against the state budget next week since it includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ bonds.

GOP leader Brian Newberry was one of two reps abstaining Tuesday when the House Finance Committee approved an 8-point-two billion dollar budget. The spending plan is for the fiscal year starting July first.

Rhode Island and the rest of New England have become foreign territory for Republicans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why.

Just about every state in New England, and especially Rhode Island, could benefit from robust two-party political competition. Our state’s  General  Assembly has 113 members. Only 11 caucus with Republicans.

House Minority Leading Brian Newberry takes part in Bonus Q+A to discuss a possible public subsidy for the Superman Building; his evaluation of Governor Lincoln Chafee; and the outlook for increasing GOP representation in the General Assembly.

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