Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is poised to be inaugurated next Tuesday as Rhode Island's first female governor. She sat down at her transition office Tuesday to discuss the top challenges facing the state and other issues.

The gifts have been unwrapped, the eggnog raised, and now it's quick sprint to New Year's before the start of a new phase in Rhode Island politics. So thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to share tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) or to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is poised next month to win his first full two-year term to what is considered the most powerful post in state government. The Cranston Democrat won a battle for the speakership last March following the resignation of his predecessor, Gordon Fox. Mattiello sat down in his Statehouse office this week to discuss his priorities for 2015 and a host of other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.

During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Monday named Michael DiBiase, a former chief of staff to Governor Lincoln Almond, as her nominee to be director of the state Department of Administration.

DiBiase, a Republican, left state government in 2001 to become vice president for government relations for Fidelity Investments. A graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania law school, he residents in Narragansett with his wife, Janice Devitt.