General Treasurer Gina Raimondo

Mayor Jorge Elorza pledged to build a `New Providence’  amid an improving economy  as he delivered his inaugural address this afternoon on the chilly, sun-splashed steps  of Providence’s Beaux-Arts City Hall.

Elorza, the second consecutive mayor of Latino descent tied his immigrant family’s journey  with Providence’s history as a welcoming city for generations of the newly arrived and emphasized the need for a new economic order.

When will Rhode Islanders stop debating public employee pensions? RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay says that won’t happen anytime soon.

As if the 2014 Rhode Island election campaigns won’t provide enough grist for everyone’s political mill, here comes the vote on the proposed public employee pension settlement crafted by their union leaders, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state retirement board voted in closed session Friday afternoon to approve a proposed pension settlement. The board met in executive session for nearly an hour, ending in a vote of 6 – 1, with 5 abstentions.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo started fleshing out her vision for Rhode Island as she formally announced her campaign Monday morning.

Raimondo emphasized the economy, laying out ideas that include writing off some college loans to encourage grads to stay in Rhode Island, creating a funding formula for road and bridge improvements, and establishing an institute to foster growth-sector jobs.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

A report commissioned by the largest state employee union claims Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s overhaul of Rhode Island’s pension system is enriching Wall Street investment managers. 

Flo Jonic / RIPR

It’s official. Former state treasurer Frank Caprio is running for his old job. And he’ll be running as a member of his old party.

After disaffiliating from the Democratic Party and toying with the idea of running as a Republican, Frank Caprio has decided to run for his old job as general treasurer as a Democrat.  Announcing his candidacy at a Federal Hill pizzeria, he explained his reasoning.

Rhode Island’s politicians are talking about the economy again. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay warns of a campaign cliché voters ought to view with skepticism.

As predictable as the turning of autumn leaves, Rhode Island’s political campaigns will once again be filled with talk about creating jobs and jump-starting our stalled economy. Expect to hear the ancient Ocean State chestnut from the pols who’ll say, the biggest economic fear of Rhode Islanders is that their children can’t stay in our state because there aren’t enough jobs.

file / RIPR

Rhode Island’s pension fund earned a return on its investment of a little more than 11 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30th. But state Treasurer Gina Raimondo is sounding a warning about the future of the state’s pension plan.

The 11.1 percent earned by the state pension fund is a big improvement over the 1.4 percent return a year earlier. Still, Rhode Island fared a bit worse than the 12.5 percent earned by the country’s largest public employee pension system, CALPERS, over the same period.

State treasurer Gina Raimondo has come out with a report documenting her first two years in office.

Raimondo says her biggest accomplishment in her first two years of office was passage of a pension overhaul package for state workers.  While it shaved benefits, it guarantees pensions will be available for generations to come and saves taxpayers about four billion dollars over the next 20 years.

Raimondo also reports eliminating a backlog of 900 claims to the Crime Victim Compensation Program. Some of the claims dated back three or four years.

Rhode Island’s state pension overhaul faces a Superior Court hearing next month. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if  it’s time for the parties to negotiate.

Our state’s landmark pension overhaul heads to Superior Court on December 7. Rhode Islanders of a certain age recall that as the day that lives “in infamy,’’ in the immortal words uttered by President Franklin Roosevelt, to a stunned nation in 1941 after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Every newspaper has sacred cows. The Providence Journal’s latest is State Treasurer Gina Raimondo. The mordant newsroom joke is that Raimondo is so sacred that she `moos’. Raimondo is a favorite of publisher Howard Sutton; the two served together on the board of Crossroads, which does much good work in our community to help the homeless get back on their feet.