general assembly

On Politics
10:07 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Ramping Up Grassroots Campaign in Home Stretch

With a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on same-sex marriage legislation expected as soon as next week, the group leading the campaign in favor of legalization says it plans to deploy more than 300 people this weekend to knock on doors and make phone calls.

Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, says the stepped-up effort is meant to connect constituents in key Senate districts with their legislators "to carry the message and the banner that it's finally time to pass marriage equality."

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On Politics
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Intended Grandfathering Language Left out of RI Assault Weapon Bill; Drafting Error Cited

Legislative language that would allow Rhode Islanders who own guns defined as assault weapons to keep them after the July 1 effective date is missing from the relevant bill.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Political Roundtable: Rep. Chippendale Calls Heightened Enforcement Key to Curbing Gun Violence

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the nine-point gun-safety proposal unveiled this week by state officials, Governor Lincoln Chafee's choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation, and other issues.

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On Politics
5:41 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Fox, Paiva Weed Call Broad Gun-Safety Proposal a Starting Point for Talks

House Speaker Gordon Fox discusses a legislative gun-safety proposal as Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed look on.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A nine-point plan intended to reduce gun-related violence and reduce the threat of a school shooting in Rhode Island was unveiled by leading elected and public-safety officials at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon. Legislative leaders repeatedly called the proposal a starting point for discussion, raising questions about what exactly will meet with General Assembly muster before the legislature ends it session in June.

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Politics
1:26 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Bill Creates Freshman Caucus in RI House

A bill has been introduced in the Rhode Island House to form a Freshman Caucus. It’s sponsored by newly elected Representative John Lombardi of Providence.

He says 21 percent of the chamber is now made up of either first-time elected officials or those returning after a hiatus. The new, he says, can sometimes get lost in the not-so-new. 

As proposed in the Lombardi bill, after the Freshman Caucus has served for two consecutive sessions it would be dissolved and a new Freshman Caucus would be formed from among the then newly-elected members.

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On Politics
9:59 am
Mon April 8, 2013

GOP Reps Invite Gun Makers to RI from "Hostile Territory"

With state officials due to release their proposal Tuesday for curbing gun violence, Republican House lawmakers are inviting gun makers to relocate to Rhode Island in response to changes in Connecticut and Maryland. A legislative news release says the changes render those two states as "hostile territory":

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On Politics
7:42 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Block Says Master Lever Critics Will Raise Focus on Fox, Paiva Weed

John Marion of Common Cause of Rhode Island uses a prop to argue against straight-ticket voting, as Senator Lou Raptakis looks on.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The leader of efforts to kill straight-ticket voting, Moderate Party founder Ken Block, says opponents of the master lever plan to raise their focus on winning support from House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

“It’s up to the speaker and the Senate president to bring those bills up for a vote in committee to get them to the floor, and now the public pressure begins to mount on both of those offices to do that," Block says. "We’ll be pushing on that very hard over the next month, month and a half.”

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On Politics
4:18 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

TGIF: 14 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics + Media

Welcome back to my weekly column. Spring is starting to pop, and there's never a shortage of news hereabouts, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Bonus Q+A: Archambault on Same-Sex Marriage, the Master Lever, and the Ethics Commission

State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield) joins us to talk about the outlook on same-sex marriage; the effectiveness of the General Assembly; whether the master lever should be abolished; and whether Ethics Commission oversight of lawmakers should be restored, among other issues.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

RI's Grassroots Fight For and Against Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage supporter Margaret Hughes knocks on a door in Woonsocket
Credit Bess Marine

Legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Rhode Island remains under consideration in the state Senate. Supporters want the General Assembly to approve same-sex marriage; opponents are backing a bill with broad exceptions that would make the issue subject to a statewide vote. Exactly when the Senate will vote on these bills remains unclear. Yet both sides are relying on grassroots campaigns to tip the outcome in their favor. These efforts could determine whether Rhode Island changes its status as the only New England state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage.

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