The state planning council approved an economic development plan Thursday that’s been sharply criticized. RhodeMap RIcalls for more training, support for industry that play to the state’s strengths and investing Rhode Island’s maritime and defense industries.
Federal dollars helped pay for creating the plan, and that sparked concern that the government could interfere with local and state issues.
The General Assembly had asked for a long-term economic development plan by October 31st. House Speaker Nick Mattiello said Rhode Islanders need to get behind the plan.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.
Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.
Starting on January 1st, parents in Rhode Island will have the option to sign up for a $100 grant for college tuition while they are still in the hospital with a newborn baby.
The change to the CollegeBoundbaby program, announced by Governor-Elect Gina Raimondo, will add the grants to the same forms parents fill out to get a birth certificate. State officials say they hope it will encourage more families to start college savings accounts when their children are young.
Treasurer-elect Seth Magaziner is hiring Providence City Solicitor Jeff Padwa as deputy treasurer/legal counsel while retaining Andrew Roos as chief of staff.
Magaziner said Padwa brings "a wealth of experience" from his tenure as city solicitor during Providence Mayor Angel Taveras' administration since 2011, including overseeing a staff of more than 30 workers.
The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is filing a lawsuit against the Providence Police Department. The ACLU says the department violated the rights of two protesters outside a campaign fundraiser for Gina Raimondo.
Last year Shannah Kurland was arrested for refusing to move during a protest at Roger Williams Park against then-gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo. Kurland said she was moved so far away from the event, more than 250 feet, that her protest was ineffectual; violating her rights to free speech and public demonstration.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Sunday said she's nominating Elizabeth Roberts to lead the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services with the expectation that Roberts will make EOHHS a national leader in controlling growing Medicaid costs.
The incoming administrations are assembling their staffs (read on), as time ticks down for the Class of 2010. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and tips via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.
Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.
Pablo Rodriguez joins Political Roundtable this week as we discuss the outlook for a trial on the pension dispute; Governor-elect Gina Raimondo going out of state to pick her chief of staff; fallout from recent cases in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, and questions about unregistered lobbying.