Legislation that would allow the troubled Central Coventry Fire District to collect taxes through September 1st of this year is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Rhode Island Senate passed the bill 29 to seven last night. It would give the district a little more breathing room to come up with a plan to raise funds. But it doesn’t provide a final solution to the town’s problems. State leaders have been reluctant to provide permanent relief to the town’s fire district, which has been operating in the red since last year.
After a 16-year-fight, Rhode Island yesterday (Thursday) became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. As Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis reports, supporters hailed the development as a victory for grassroots democracy.
Governor Lincoln Chafee signed two companion bills into law shortly after they were approved, 56-to-15, during a final vote in the House of Representatives. Chafee told an audience of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse that gays and lesbians have been seeking equality for a long time.
Ian Donnis will be reporting from the statehouse as Rhode Island is poised to join the other New England states that have already legalized same-sex marriage. This follows a battle of almost 20 years.
Two companion bills for same-sex marriage are expected to get overwhelming support during a House vote this afternoon. Immediately after, Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to sign the legislation into law during a ceremony on the south side of the Statehouse.
The owner of the vacant Superman Building in downtown Providence wants to use $39 million in state money to convert it into for residential apartments. It remains unclear whether the General Assembly is willing to support that kind of spending.
The Superman Building has been sitting empty ever since Bank of America left in early April. The property’s owner, High Rock Development of Massachusetts, wants to convert the art deco building into 278 rental apartments.
Rhode Island, you do us proud with your ceaseless stream of unexpected political developments. Happy Friday, and welcome back. You're tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Here we go:
1. Former state treasurer Frank Caprio's is on the comeback trail after his gubernatorial campaign melted down in 2010: he's planning to run for treasurer next year, regardless of who else might be in the race.
Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the state Senate vote in favor of same-sex marriage; concerns about the impact on religious institutions; how the battle was won, and other issues.