general assembly

Politics
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Four new senators added to Judiciary; impact unclear for same-sex marriage

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed unveiled her new selections Tuesday afternoon for the Senate Judiciary Committee with a series of subtractions (Maryellen Goodwin, William Walaska) and additions of newly elected lawmakers (William Conley, Steve Archambault, Lou Raptakis, and Frank Lombardi). What all this means in the coming fight over same-sex marriage isn't entirely clear, although Senate leaders certainly possess the ability to kill the drive for what proponents call "marriage equality." 

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Politics
12:00 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Block attracting support for killing the master lever

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Moderate Party founder Ken Block is leading a new effort to eliminate straight-ticket voting in Rhode Island. Critics say the so-called master lever makes it more difficult to challenge the ruling Democratic Party.

Block has created a Web site, masterlever.org, with an online petition calling for eliminating the master lever. He says straight-ticket voting has a distorting effect on politics in Rhode Island.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Former federal official calls RI pension case "the mother of all mediations"

A former head of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service -- the government arm mediating Rhode Island's pension dispute among eight parties -- calls the case "the mother of all mediations."

Peter J. Hurtgen, who led the FMCS from 2002 through 2004, says a subset of the eight parties in mediation could potentially reach some areas of agreement among themselves. But he says the complexity of the case makes it unusually fraught for mediation:

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Politics
10:17 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Tobin warns General Assembly against same-sex marriage, calling it "immoral and unnecessary"

In a sign of the intensifying battle to come, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is calling on the General Assembly to not pass a same-sex marriage bill.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

TGIF: 12 things to know about RI politics + media

A New Year, a new General Assembly session, and the formal/informal start of the 2014 campaign season are upon us. Welcome to another edition of my Friday column. Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me your tips or thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (org). Here's the rundown:

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Politics
3:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Pare says tougher gun laws needed to curb violence in RI

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says the state can reduce gun-related violence by passing more stringent laws. Pare says most of the guns used for crime are illegally owned.

Pare says tougher penalties for illegal gun possession helped to dramatically reduce gun-related crime in New York City. He says more stringent punishments could help to have the same effect in Rhode Island.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Political Roundtable: Senator Dawson Hodgson on the economy and same-sex marriage

State Senator Dawson Hodgson
Credit Ian Donnis

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) joins us this week to discuss economic development, same-sex marriage, and why he didn't vote for Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

State Senate approves brief delay in state education merger

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state Senate approved a bill Thursday to allow additional time for a controversial merger of two state boards of education.

The bill will continue the existence until March 7 of separate state boards for K-through-12 and public higher education. It also pushes back until September the final structure for combining the two boards.

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Politics
5:39 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Same-sex marriage bills introduced at the General Assembly

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Bill to legalize same-sex marriage were introduced Thursday in each chamber of the General Assembly.

Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) is the lead sponsor of a Senate bill with about a dozen sponsors.

In the House, the bill was introduced by Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston) with about 40 sponsors.

The House Judiciary Committee could take up the bill as soon as next week.

It’s not clear when the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the bill on the Senate side.

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