In what Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls a historic day, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter gave final approval Friday for a deal that will reduce the capital city's $900 million+ unfunded pension liability by $178 million. The agreement followed negotiations between the city and police and fire unions and municipal retirees.
"Today is the end of a long, long road that we've traveled," Taveras said in an interview. "I feel a lot of relief and gratitude to all the employees and retirees especially who have agreed to help the city."
In politics, as in pensions, assets can turn into liabilities. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if an advocacy group for pension overhaul that doesn’t need to disclose its members has become state Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s Achilles heel.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a 20-point economic plan Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Providence Foundation. The mayor's repeated rhetorical emphasis -- how Providence has bounced back from the financial abyss thanks to collaboration and shared sacrifice -- sounded like one message he'll wield next year during an expected Democratic run for governor.
Welcome back to my weekly column. A 12-hour legislative committee meeting on the same night when the RI GOP invalidates a vote for chairman? Just another day in the Biggest Little. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.
Rhode Island cities and towns would have access to low-interest loans for road and bridge repairs under a bill unveiled Thursday by House Speaker Gordon Fox and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo. It’s being sold as a way to jump start the state’s sluggish construction trade.
Rhode Island's roads and bridges have been crumbling for years. So why did the most powerful pol in the state, House Speaker Gordon Fox, team up Thursday with one of Rhode Island's top-two emerging political stars, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, to unveil a new plan for funding road and bridge improvements during a well-attended Statehouse news conference?
About a hundred firefighters protested Monday morning outside a conference focused on distressed municipalities, where state treasurer Gina Raimondo was the keynote speaker. Inside, Raimondo applauded the cooperation it took from organized labor to make the state pension overhaul possible.
The timing was purely coincidental, but it's hard to imagine a sharper contrast in leadership styles than what Rhode Island saw this week from Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.
Educator Victor Capellan, a veteran of Latino politics in Rhode Island, says he plans to run for mayor of Providence in 2014 if Angel Taveras seeks a different office.
Taveras, like state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is widely expected to run for governor. Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to seek re-election; the only other declared candidate at this point is former state auditor Ernest Almonte, a Democrat.