Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss the 2014 race for treasurer; Governor Lincoln Chafee's recent judicial nominations; lower-than-expected state revenues; and the trio of controversies facing President Obama.
Foreign nationals would be able to get driver’s licenses under a bill being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon.
One of the cosponsors of the legislation, Democratic Senator Juan Pichardo of Providence, said offering licenses to undocumented residents makes sense.
“By granting a driver’s license for undocumented that will give them the ability to register their vehicles and then pay taxes, therefore having some state revenues,” said Pichardo, “but will also provide a safety measure for many residents.”
Legislation that would allow the troubled Central Coventry Fire District to collect taxes through September 1st of this year is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Rhode Island Senate passed the bill 29 to seven last night. It would give the district a little more breathing room to come up with a plan to raise funds. But it doesn’t provide a final solution to the town’s problems. State leaders have been reluctant to provide permanent relief to the town’s fire district, which has been operating in the red since last year.
After a 16-year-fight, Rhode Island yesterday (Thursday) became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. As Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis reports, supporters hailed the development as a victory for grassroots democracy.
Governor Lincoln Chafee signed two companion bills into law shortly after they were approved, 56-to-15, during a final vote in the House of Representatives. Chafee told an audience of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse that gays and lesbians have been seeking equality for a long time.
Ian Donnis will be reporting from the statehouse as Rhode Island is poised to join the other New England states that have already legalized same-sex marriage. This follows a battle of almost 20 years.
Two companion bills for same-sex marriage are expected to get overwhelming support during a House vote this afternoon. Immediately after, Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to sign the legislation into law during a ceremony on the south side of the Statehouse.
The owner of the vacant Superman Building in downtown Providence wants to use $39 million in state money to convert it into for residential apartments. It remains unclear whether the General Assembly is willing to support that kind of spending.
The Superman Building has been sitting empty ever since Bank of America left in early April. The property’s owner, High Rock Development of Massachusetts, wants to convert the art deco building into 278 rental apartments.