Gina Raimondo

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With her term as governor half-way over, Gina Raimondo used her latest State of the State address to assert she's steering Rhode Island in the right direction and to tout a series of initiatives that could bolster her support among middle-class voters.

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo delivers her State of the State speech tonight at the Statehouse. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Since the launch of the Rhode Island’s trouble social services system, UHIP, many nursing homes have gone without payment for Medicaid patients. Owed for months of care, many administrators are concerned they won’t be able to go without payment for much longer.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo is poised Monday to announce a major education initiative that would make the first two years of public higher education tuition-free for Rhode Island high school graduates enrolled at the state’s three public colleges – the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, according to Statehouse sources.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families has a new director. Doctor Trista Piccola has been chosen to lead the social service agency. Governor Gina Raimondo plans to submit her name to the Rhode Island Senate today for their consent. A statement from the governor’s office says Piccola has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare. She began her career as a Protective Services Case Manager in Ohio, and was most recently head of child welfare services for Cleveland.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has sent a letter to US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging him to reconsider repealing the Affordable Care Act. Raimondo argues the ACA is working in Rhode Island, and that repealing it would undo progress in insuring more Rhode Islanders.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo may announce some changes in leadership in the state’s office of health and human services this week. The Governor is frustrated with ongoing problems with the state’s new online benefits system, UHIP.

Welcome to my first TGIF column of 2017, and thanks for stopping by. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

One day after the start of Rhode Island's new General Assembly session, a group of lawmakers, religious leaders and advocates for the poor planned to demonstrate at the Statehouse. The Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty organizes the annual event to encourage lawmakers to take up issues affecting low-income Rhode Islanders.

Though largely ceremonial, the event is usually attended by high-ranking lawmakers, including the Governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello doubled down Tuesday on his pledge to begin a phaseout in 2017 of the state's unpopular car tax. 

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017! Welcome to my last TGIF column of 2016, and thanks for following my reports throughout the year. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Matt Bucci, who has served as one of Governor Gina Raimondo's top aides since she took office in January 2015, is leaving for a private sector job at the end of January.

Bucci will be joining the Providence office of AECOM, a Los Angeles-based engineering, design, construction and management company. His work will be with the company's growth and strategy division, which will not include lobbying or government relations, said Raimondo's communications director, Mike Raia.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes to all for the holidays. 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has had an eventful 2016 -- from a string of recent job announcements to the troubled rollouts of the state's new tourism campaign and the new IT system for administering human service benefits. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A new nonprofit corporation, The Partnership for Rhode Island, said it plans to focus on promoting economic growth in Rhode Island.

The group filed incorporation papers with the state last Friday. The partnership’s initial officers are the CEOs of Hasbro, Brian Goldner; CVS Health, Larry Merlo; and the Rhode Island Foundation, Neil Steinberg; and Don Sweitzer, chairman of IGT Global Solutions (formerly known as GTECH). The Rhode Island Foundation will serve as fiscal agent for the organization while it seeks 501c (3) status.

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