Gina Raimondo

Truckers are now paying tolls on the Rhode Island side of on Interstate 95. They've racked up more than a half million dollars in just the first month of the tolling program.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that’s hardly the end of this debate.

‘Tis the season of road and bridge construction. It seems like you can’t drive anywhere without encountering the pungent odor of fresh asphalt, the drone of backhoes and long lines of the unofficial summer state tree --- the orange highway cone.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Six years have passed since the bankruptcy of the video game company 38 Studios. But two of the firms sued by Rhode Island over 38 Studio’s demise continue to perform lucrative work for a quasi-public state agency.

Time always seems to speed up in summer, right? It'll be August before we know it, then September, and the political milestones of November and January won't be far behind. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column, Your tips and comments remain welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. (Program note: I'm taking some time off, so TGIF will return later this month.) Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island politics is once again enveloped in the economic rating game. Some national rankings show the state’s economy to be doing well, while others don’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay is skeptical of all the rankings, ratings and lists.

The CNBC business network recently ranked Rhode Island at 45 out of 50 on its 2018 list of the top states for business. Business Insider's web site put Rhode Island much higher, stating it has the ninth best business climate in the country.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

John Marion, executive director of the good government group Common Cause of Rhode Island, joins Political Roundtable to discuss an SEC probe with a Rhode Island link, the recent General Assembly session, and fallout from recent endorsement controveries.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has imposed a $100,000 fine on a California investment company for violating pay to play rules meant to prevent political contributions from influencing investment decisions. An executive with the company, Oaktree Capital Management, made a $1,000 contribution to Gina Raimondo when she was running for governor in 2014, but it was refunded a few weeks later.

RIPR File

Rhode Island Democrats have been beset by battles over women’s rights and the direction of the party. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says voters -- not party bigwigs—will decide these issues. 

Summer is here, the General Assembly has adjourned and the political news keeps coming fast and furious. So 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.

What appears to be the last week of the General Assembly is coming in for landing. So 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.

The Carpionato Group contributed to the cost of a campaign mailer that supported Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in 2016.

The mailer was paid for by a group called Progress RI, which was chaired by Richard Ferruccio, the president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers. The mailer identifies the "only donors" as Tasca Automotive Group, Carpionato Group and Cardi's Furniture.

RIPR FILE

DACA recipients living in Rhode Island now have the guaranteed right to drive and work. Governor Gina Raimondo is set to signed new protections into law Monday afternoon.

Ian Donnis/file photo / RIPR

Two rivals of GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and Republican Patricia Morgan, filed complaints Monday against Fung with the state Board of Elections about questions surrounding Fung's campaign headquarters in Cranston. The non-partisan good government group Common Cause of Rhode Island also filed a complaint against Fung.

The complaints by the rival campaigns ask the Elections Board to probe the issue, which includes how Fung wound up for not paying rent to developer Carpionato Group for his Chapel View campaign office in 2016.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 66 to 7 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a $9.55 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and that spells out for the first time how the state will divide revenue from the introduction of sports betting at two locations.

The Rhode Island House budget vote is monkeying with our column-writing schedule, so this week's TGIF is a bit abbreviated. But we're still checking the pulse of Ocean State politics and appreciate your stopping by. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With a potentially costly legal dispute settled between the state of Rhode Island and a group of nursing homes, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Tuesday that he remains concerned about management issues in the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

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