general assembly

Politics
8:56 am
Thu September 19, 2013

RI Gun Control Task Force Unlikely to Meet January Deadline

A task force on gun control was scheduled to meet with the general assembly and the Governor in January. Members of the task force say they will not meet that deadline.
Credit RIPR FILE

A legislative task force created in the last General Assembly session to examine the intersection of gun violence and mental health issues has yet to meet. The panel is unlikely to meet a January deadline for reporting its findings.                                                                                                                                                   

Read more
Politics
4:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

RI Lacks a Plan for Curbing "Crippling Effect" of Persistent Budget Deficits

Rhode Island's budget must be balanced by the end of the legislative session. But projected deficits for the next fiscal year are a constant -- and the long-term outlook is getting worse.
Credit RIPR

Every year, when Rhode Island lawmakers start working on a new budget, they face a spending plan mired in red ink. By law, the budget must be balanced by the end of the legislative session, usually in June. But like a boomerang, projected budget deficits zoom back to Smith Hill by the time the new session starts in January. Next year will no different -- Rhode Island already faces the fiscal year starting in July 2014 with an estimated $149 million hole. And the state lacks a plan for overcoming budget deficits that are projected to get far worse with time.

Read more
On Politics
7:55 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Marcello says The Truth on 38 Studios is Out There; MacBeth to Push for Subpoena Power

House staffers testify before the Oversight Committee about documents obtained from the EDC.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) wants the House Oversight Committee to use its subpoena power to extract documents and compel appearances by key figures in Rhode Island's losing investment in failed video game maker 38 Studios.

Read more
On Politics
5:56 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Gina Raimondo, Women in Politics, and 2014

One of Gina Raimondo's out-of-state supporters wants us to know that Raimondo "may be weighing a run for governor," and that it would be good for the cause of female political empowerment if she won.

Tell us more, Barbara Lee!

Read more
Politics
9:38 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Division of Taxation Hands Out Historic Tax Credits

Using a lottery system, the Division of Taxation handed out 31 Historic Tax credits.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation held a drawing Tuesday to award just $35 million in state historic tax credits.  The General Assembly voted earlier this year to reopen the historic tax credit program.

The Division of Taxation used a drawing to pick who would get the tax credits since demand outstripped supply. State Tax Administrator David Sullivan says the recipients comprise a variety of projects expected to boost the economy.

Read more
Politics
8:38 am
Tue August 27, 2013

State Continues to Face Growing Budget Deficits

The state Budget office says the deficit will continue to grow to $400 million by 2018.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island continues to face worsening budget deficits for the next five years. That’s according to new information from the state budget office.  The red ink could cause cutbacks in government programs.

The budget office says lawmakers face a $150 million deficit for the fiscal year starting in July 2014. As it stands, the budget hole is set to keep growing,until it tops $400 million for fiscal 2018.

The budget enacted by the General Assembly in June made some relatively minor reductions in the state’s long-term deficits.

Read more
On Politics
5:03 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Budget Office: RI Deficit Set to Grow to 410M in FY 2018

Rhode Island continues to face onerous budget deficits for the near future -- from $149.2 million for the fiscal year starting in July 2014 to $410 million in FY 2018, according to a new five-year analysis by the state Budget Office.

The cascade of red ink will place pressure on lawmakers to find fresh spending cuts, even as new casinos in Massachusetts are expected to cut into one of Rhode Island's top revenue sources -- gambling. The legal challenge to the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system poses another possible wild card.

Read more
Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Political Roundtable: Chafee Defends Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether RI Democrats are doing enough to move the economy forward; tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; NSA surveillaince; education policy; and why his poll ratings are so low.

Read more
On Politics
4:41 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Chafee Calls Sakonnet Toll Necessary To Avoid Debt + Deterioration

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee isn't backing away from the state's placement of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, despite sharp opposition from residents and business owners in the East Bay.

Chafee says he understands the toll is unpopular and that many people are economically squeezed, but he calls the approach necessary.

"Unless there's a better way to maintain our bridges, which there hasn't been yet, I won't pass on future costs to our children and grandchildren," Chafee said Thursday during a taping of RIPR's Political Roundtable.

Read more
Politics
8:33 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Citizens Attempt to Stop Tax Increase in Woonsocket

A group of citizens has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in an attempt to stop a supplemental tax increase in Woonsocket.  Woonsocket officials hope to use the tax to overcome a persistent budget crisis.

But the lawsuit filed on behalf of several taxpayers claims the supplemental tax doesn’t comply with the General Assembly legislation that authorized it. The legislation was based on Woonsocket being able to reach almost 4 million dollars in other budget savings. But the suit says that since almost 3 million of the savings are subject to legal action, that may never be realized.

Read more

Pages