general assembly

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Supporters launched a new effort Wednesday to strengthen abortion rights in Rhode Island, although it remains unclear if their favored bill will have enough support to clear the General Assembly.

A bill backed by progressive and women lawmakers would codify abortion rights in Rhode Island, even if the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q&A this week to discuss her concerns on the Trump administration, as well as a range of other issues, including jobs and the economy, education, and UHIP.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss competing plans to cut the car tax; her proposal to offer Rhode Islanders two years of free tuition at state colleges; and a spate of charges against former state lawmakers.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Ray Gallison, the Bristol Democrat who formerly chaired the powerful House Finance Committee, has agreed to plead guilty to nine federal charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and filing false tax returns, investigators announced Monday.

Just another quiet Friday in America, right? Thanks for stopping by as we hurtle into a new area, with lots to watch on the local and national level. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday presented to the General Assembly a $9.2 billion budget that cuts car tax assessments by 30 percent; offers Rhode Islanders two free years of college tuition; raises the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, effective in July; and hikes the cigarette tax 50 cents, to $4.25 a pack.

Katie Mulvaney / Press pool photo

Former Cranston State Rep. Peter Palumbo pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges to embezzlement and filing a false document.

The arraignment in Providence District Court lasted about a minute. Wearing a white sweatshirt and jeans, Palumbo was led into the courtroom in handcuffs.

Palumbo, a Democrat, was arrested by State Police earlier in the day at his Cranston home.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With her term as governor half-way over, Gina Raimondo used her latest State of the State address to assert she's steering Rhode Island in the right direction and to tout a series of initiatives that could bolster her support among middle-class voters.

New lawmakers are settling in, and Governor Raimondo is getting ready to unveil her latest budget. So the political year is starting in earnest, paving the way for the 2018 campaign season. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

John Bender / RIPR

Former Providence State Rep. John Carnevale pleaded not guilty in Superior Court Friday to charges of perjury and filing false documents. The charges stem from an investigation into Carnevale’s residency.

The attorney general’s office alleges Carnevale lied under oath to the Providence Board of Canvassers during hearings to determine his residency. The former lawmaker owned two residences, one in Johnston and another in Providence. He maintained his primary residence was in Providence. The board eventually determined Carnevale was not eligible to represent his district.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

More than 20 Democratic state lawmakers expressed support Thursday for a four-part plan -- dubbed the "Fair Shot Agenda" -- that they say will expand economic opportunities for middle-class Rhode Islanders.

State Rep. Gregg Amore (D-East Providence) introduced the proposal as a response to President-elect Donald Trump's win in November and "decades of economic policy that has continually tilted the scales toward the wealthy and large corporations."

Welcome to my first TGIF column of 2017, and thanks for stopping by. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Rep. Chris Blazejewski joins Bonus Q&A to discuss House-Senate relations, education funding, whether undocumented immigrants should get driver's licenses, and other issues.

RI House of Representatives

Matt Jerzyk, a familiar presence at the Statehouse, started in a new role Wednesday as chief legal counsel for House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi, RIPR has learned.

Jerzyk came to Smith Hill as deputy legal counsel for Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in November 2014, with a salary of $99,072. He is also the part-time city solicitor for Central Falls.

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