general assembly

Politics
3:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Strong Support in Unionizing Child Care Workers

Last session, the General Assembly passed legislation signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee allowing some child care workers to unionize.

Organizers said the vast majority of workers in a state-subsidized child care program have indicated their support for joining a union.

Chas Walker of Service Employees Union, Local 1199, said more than 500 of about 600 workers have signed cards to become union members. “We’ve filed those cards with the state Labor Board and it’s the process in the law,” said Walker, “and we’re looking forward to having an election as soon as possible.”

The General Assembly passed a law this year allowing the child care workers to unionize.

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Politics
8:22 am
Tue August 20, 2013

State Republicans Point to Democrats as Unemployment Rises

State Republican leaders say Democrats have done little to ease Rhode Island's increasing unemployment.
Credit RIPR FILE

The head of the state Republican Party is blaming legislative Democrats for failing to improve Rhode Island’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate climbed by a tenth of percent in July, to 8.9 percent.

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders are wrong to brag about their efforts when the unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction.

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On Politics
12:41 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

For Rhode Island, Is It Still "It's the Economy, Stupid?"

State Republican chairman Mark Smiley issued a news release Monday, taking to task Rhode Island's Democratic legislative leaders for the moribund condition of the local economy. Smiley's message -- if we can borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run -- is: It's (still) the economy, stupid.

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RI News
9:24 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Major Rennovation Set For State's Largest Homeless Shelter

The state’s largest homeless shelter is about to get a badly-needed facelift, thanks to the General Assembly. The legislature appropriated one million dollars to upgrade Harrington Hall, a rundown-century-old gymnasium on the grounds of the Pastore Complex in Cranston.

Harrington Hall is in such poor shape they have to move cots and lay down tarps when it rains.  And the roof isn’t the only problem. The 100 or so men who live there night after night share seven toilets, three showers, and have no kitchen.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Political Roundtable: Pension Talks; Sakonnet Tolls; Bishop Tobin's GOP Switch

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss ongoing mediation over Rhode Island's pension lawsuit; the start next week of a 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge; Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin's decision to become a Republican; and the US Justice Department stepping away from mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.

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Politics
10:28 am
Wed August 14, 2013

RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority Yet To Establish Toll Collection Policy

A 10-cent toll will go into effect next Monday on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has not yet established a new policy for collecting the tolls.

The General Assembly set the new 10-cent toll in the closing days of the legislative session earlier this summer. Turnpike and Bridge Authority Chairman David Darlington said the authority needs to gather more information before making a new policy.

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RI News
9:14 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Providence Bishop Announces Republican Party Affiliation

Bishop Thomas Tobin has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, and has now announced he is a registered Republican.
Credit Courtesy Rhode Island Catholic Dioceses

The Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, said he has become a registered Republican.

Tobin told a group of Rhode Island Young Republicans he blamed himself and the Catholic Church for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

He also said Catholic lawmakers at the State house quote “let us down.”

The Dioceses of Providence wrote a "Letter to Catholics on the Approval of Same-Sex Marriage" which was published in the newspaper, Rhode Island Catholic Newspaper following the passage in May.

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RI News
8:32 am
Tue August 13, 2013

10-Cent Tolls Set to Begin on Sakonnet River Bridge

The Turnpike and Bridge Authority is scheduled to meet before the tolls go into effect next week.
Credit Courtesy RI DOT

The state is slated to begin charging a new 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge next Monday.  Yet it’s not exactly clear how the state will collect that money.

The General Assembly added the 10-cent toll, basically as a placeholder, at the end of the legislative session. The legislature took that action because the absence of a toll on the new span could prevent the state from adding one at a later date. State Rep John Edwards of Tiverton says the toll remains unpopular in the East Bay.

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On Politics
5:05 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

TGIF: 10 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my Friday politics + media column. As always, you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Political Roundtable: Almonte on 38 Studios, Hedge Funds + the GOP in 2014

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic candidate for treasurer Ernest Almonte joins the Roundtable to discuss lingering questions about 38 Studios; the state pension fund's stake in hedge funds; and how John Robitaille could remake the GOP field for governor in 2014.

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