general assembly

On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Surplus shrinks FY2014 deficit to $70M; long-term spending still a problem

A pre-session House Finance Committee meeting this afternoon offered a mix of good news and bad news: a larger than expected current-year surplus of about $47 million will roughly cut in half the deficit for the budget year starting next July 1, from $130 million to $70 million.

But the state’s structural deficit could grow to about $400 million in five years, due in part to overspending in some state departments. In an interview following the meeting, House Finance chairman Helio Melo said the state needs to be more disciplined:

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On Politics
12:45 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Firefighters target Raimondo as architect of pension changes

As state Treasurer Gina Raimondo gets set to hold a football-themed fundraiser at Rick’s Roadhouse this evening, here’s a copy of the rally-the-troops email sent out by the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters:

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On Politics
2:00 am
Fri November 30, 2012

TGIF: 14 things to know about RI politics + media

“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.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Senate Judiciary appointments could offer clues on same-sex marriage outlook

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed’s selections to fill two vacant slots on the Senate Judiciary Committee may offer some tea leaves on the outlook for same-sex marriage in that chamber.

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On Politics
3:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Did you know the RI House has a Pinterest page?

Tweeters might remain few to non-existent among the 113 state legislators in Rhode Island, but Smith Hill is increasing its use of social media.

The House of Representatives, for example, has its own Pinterest page – highlighted by a picture of Representative Joseph McNamara standing in front of an Irish and Italian flag.

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On Politics
3:00 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Pegden gets nod as legal counsel for Speaker Fox

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.

Via news release: 

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On Politics
12:00 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Chafee remains undecided on approach for reshaping EDC leadership

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.

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On Politics
1:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Walsh thinks the state Senate will pass same-sex marriage in 2013

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.

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On Politics
3:00 am
Mon November 19, 2012

The tweeters take a hit at the Statehouse

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.

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On Politics
4:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

TGIF: 14 things to know about RI politics + media

Shake off the post-election week blues and get ready for the weekend. Your tips and email are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org

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