Gina Raimondo

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Citizens Bank announced plans Wednesday to build a new 420,000-square foot corporate campus on an undeveloped parcel on the west side of I-295 in Johnston, to absorb more than 3,200 employees from current office sites in Cranston, East Providence, Warwick and Smithfield.

RIPR FILE

The state is moving ahead with a new program meant to connect out of work Rhode Islanders with tech sector jobs. The Ocean State was among the states selected last year to take part in the federal Tech-Hire initiative.

Governor Gina Raimondo said more than 30 employers, including Hasbro and Citizens Bank, have signed on to take part in the Tech-Hire program.

RIPR file photo

Through a partnership with Microsoft, the University of Rhode Island and several other organizations, Governor Gina Raimondo has unveiled a plan to bring computer science to every public school in the state.

Raimondo discussed the initiative she calls "CS4RI" at Tolman High School in Pawtucket on Monday. She was joined by members of the state's congressional delegation and hundreds of Tolman students.

Governor's office

Voters will decide the fate of Twin River's proposed Tiverton convenience casino, after Governor Gina Raimondo signed related legislation into law Friday afternoon.

Twin River unveiled the plan in April 2015, calling it Rhode Island's best hope for preserving the third-largest source of state revenue. The proposal consists of 32 table games and about 1,000 video lottery terminals.

RIPR FILE

Advocates are renewing a push to legalize driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The fate of the legislation remains unclear at this point.

Two Providence lawmakers, Representative

In Support Of Syrian Refugees, Hundreds Drown Out Opposition Rally

Feb 23, 2016
John Bender / RIPR

Hundreds of demonstrators packed the statehouse Monday chanting “refugees are welcome here.” The demonstration in support of Syrian refugees included Sterck Zaza, who emigrated from Syria to West Warwick as a child. 

“I am here as a mother, a sister, a friend,” said Zaza, who was close to tears a. “I support anyone who comes to this country in peace. And that’s where these refugees are coming from. They are coming for peace. That’s all they want is peace. And they’re my brothers, and they’re my sisters.”

RIPR FILE

Some good news for Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly in the latest revenue numbers for fiscal year 2016 from the state Department of Revenue.

Through January, both the personal income tax collections and the sales tax receipts are exceeding state projections. Income tax collections are running nearly four percent –3.8 percent—ahead of estimates. The sales levy is bringing in 3.4 percent more than estimates.

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo is in Washington D.C. this weekend. She’s participating in the annual gathering of the National Governors Association.

Raimondo will rub elbows with the leaders of other states around the country and take part in several panels and discussions, including a meeting of the Economic Development and Commerce committee, of which she is a member. She’s also scheduled meet with President Barack Obama along with the country’s other Democratic governors

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Fort Myers, so glimmers of spring are slowly approaching. 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

Joseph Azrack, chairman of the I-195 District Development Commission, touts 2016 as a time when the district will move closer to the goal of becoming an economic generator for the state.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State police handed out supplies of Narcan, the overdose rescue drug, to municipal police departments from around Rhode Island Tuesday. Most first responders carry the drug, but not all police departments have stocked up. 

Quite the busy week in Rhode Island politics, with RhodeWorks sprinting through the legislature. 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.

Federal Wildlife Service

Rhode Island’s New England neighbors are moving aggressively forward with legalizing marijuana. RIPR political analyst says the Ocean State shouldn’t be last to tap a new source of state money.

Whatever you think about legal marijuana, it is difficult to defend the current prohibition of the weed. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) on Friday called for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to launch a House Oversight investigation into whether the state Department of Transportation pressured state reps to support the new truck toll law ahead of the House vote earlier this week.

A group of faith leaders and others welcomed what appears to be the first family of Syrian refugees to settle in Rhode Island. The family arrived at T.F. Green airport on Thursday evening to find a group of well-wishers holding signs and balloons.

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