Cale Keable

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers from Burrillville are calling on the Department of Health to recommend withholding approvals for the proposed power plant in the area, until changes are made to mitigate any potential negative health effects.

In a letter sent to an environmental health risk assessment toxicologist at the Department of Health, Representative Cale Keable and Senator Paul Fogarty list their concerns over the proposed power plant project.

Those include impacts on local drinking water, noise pollution, and emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Protestors plan to march from the Statehouse to Burrillville this weekend as they continue to fight a proposed power plant. The state is still vetting the project, but it has support from top state officials, including the governor. Opponents of the power plant have concerns about the project’s transparency. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives easily approved legislation related to the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board and to tax treaties with electricity-generating facilities in Burrillville. But some lawmakers in the state Senate were not as receptive to the bill.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State Representative Cale Keable’s power plant bill took a step forward at the Statehouse yesterday. The House Environment & Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 for the bill, which now moves to the house floor for consideration. 

March is here, along with what continues to be an unusual year in presidential politics. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and thoughts are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Rep. Cale Keable (D-Burrillville) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss government ethics, the power plant proposed in Burrillville, judicial selection, and other topics.

State Rep. Cale Keable (D-Burrillville), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the debate over truck tolls, 38 Studios, and legalizing marijuana.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All this week, Rhode Island Public Radio is focusing on Burrillville, a small community in the northwest corner of the state. Burrillville’s most influential media source is a weekly, printed publication that most people have never heard of. It began publishing in 1970 and is called the Bargain Buyer.

At Monty’s Victory Diner in Burrillville, it’s easy to find local residents like Robert Wolstenholme who swear by the Bargain Buyer.

At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.

Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.

Nick Mattiello has only been House Speaker for two days. So it may not be fair to criticize his committee and leadership choices; he had to throw together his team very quickly.

But it hasn’t escaped notice that Mattiello’s new team has given women lawmakers short shrift.

The new speaker has named three committee chairs: Ray Gallison, D-Bristol, takes over the House Finance Committee; Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, assumes control of the Judiciary Committee; and Robert Craven, D-North Kingstown becomes the new chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee.

UPDATE: Skenyon began working in Mattiello's office today, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

With rumors dancing through the Statehouse corridors of power, new House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has yet to reveal his leadership team. Which isn’t unusual, considering he wasn’t formally elected speaker until about an hour ago.