The state Senate has started scheduling confirmation hearings for four of the nomination made by Governor Gina Raimondo for her administration. The first four hearings center on holdovers from Lincoln Chafee’s time in office.
The confirmation process for Governor Raimondo’s nominees is slated to start next Tuesday. That’s when separate Senate committees will take up the nominations of Charles Fogarty as head of the Division of Elderly Affairs, and of State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell to remain director of the Department of Public Safety.
Governor Gina Raimondo has made good on her pledge to find a place in her administration for former Department of Labor and Training director Charles Fogarty, nominating him to lead the Division of Elderly Affairs.
Fogarty served two terms as lieutenant governor and was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2006, losing a close race to Republican incumbent Don Carcieri.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is nominating one of her staffers, Melba Depena, to the post of director of human services, and a Maryland official, Scott Jensen, to head the state Department of Labor and Training.
Raimondo said the outgoing directors of the two departments -- Sandra Powell at DHS, and Charles Fogarty at DLT -- will take on new roles in state government.
The state made an early payment to the U.S. Treasury on a loan used to cover unemployment benefits. It was the state’s final payment and the feds got it six months early.
Since March of 2009, Rhode Island borrowed nearly a billion dollars to cover unemployment benefits. The state made its final payment on that lump sum six months early, saving businesses more than $50 million next year. It will save local businesses said department of Labor and Training director Charles Fogarty.
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate edged down slightly in November but still remains among the highest in the country.
Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell by two tenths of one percent in November -- from 9.2 percent to 9 percent. That’s two percent higher than the national rate and the highest in New England. Close to 50-thousand Rhode Islanders are actively looking for work. And to make matters worse, long-term unemployment benefits end December 28th because of congressional inaction.
The latest employment numbers for Rhode Island are a mixed bag.
The state’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point in September then held in October at 9-point-2 percent. But Rhode Island has added 35-hundred jobs since July.
Sectors seeing the largest growth were Professional and Business Services and Accommodation and Food Services. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Director Charles Fogarty said construction has also seen a nice bump over the past few months.