“It’s the holiday season,” as the song goes, and what’s December in Rhode Island without another Statehouse-tree related controversy? Mull that over along with my Friday column. Your thoughts and tips are welcome, as always at idonnis [at] ripr [dot] org.
Susan Pedgen, best known as the press secretary for Charles Fogarty during his two terms as lieutenant governor, has gotten the nod to become chief legal counsel for House Speaker Gordon Fox. She’s slated to start $121,308 job next Monday, December 3.
Pegden will be the first woman to be chief legal counsel for a speaker, according to Fox spokesman Larry Berman. As a resident of Hope Street, she is also a constituent of the speaker.
Governor Lincoln Chafee remains open to the idea of putting one person in charge of the state’s economic development efforts, although the precise approach for doing that hasn’t been decided, his office says.
Almost two months have passed since the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council issued its recommendations for reshaping the state’s strategy to improving the economy.
While the outlook for same-sex marriage in the state Senate remains a question mark, one influential observer of Statehouse politics expects 2013 to be the year when it will squeak through the chamber.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, believes same-sex marriage will pass by a thin margin in the 38-member Senate.
House Speaker Gordon Fox has pledged to call a vote on the issue early in the new session.
Is there a Rhode Island lawmaker willing to embrace the get-it-all-out-there ethos of Twitter once the General Assembly launches a new session in January?
One of the legislature’s leading tweeters, Jon Brien, won’t be back after losing a write-in campaign to Woonsocket firefighter Stephen Casey. And Brien recently deactivated his Twitter handle (@RepJonDBrien50), as the ever-alert Chas Walker noticed.
It would provide the avenue we need to create open and constructive dialogue about whether we actually need 39 cities and towns or if we could go with smaller, more effective government in the form of regional or county administration.