Gina Raimondo

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. There's lots going on, so we'll get right to it.

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As we celebrate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why we still haven’t made the progress that King envisioned.

Today is the day we honor King, the preacher and activist who pricked the conscience of a nation. 

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The General Electric move from Fairfield County, on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, to Boston was probably inevitable, given the direction in which the iconic company is moving.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RINPR

Boston landed the big prize with the relocation from Connecticut of General Electric, but Governor Gina Raimondo said Wednesday the state is continuing talks with GE about the possibility of bringing other jobs to the Ocean State.

In her first public comments on Rhode Island's pursuit of GE, Raimondo said in a statement, “We worked diligently to recruit GE’s headquarters to Rhode Island -- and we'll remain relentless in our efforts to bring jobs to the state."

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo plans to attend the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week as part of her effort to promote Rhode Island while attempting to attract new jobs.

"The governor will participate in a range of policy discussions and meetings with several leading domestic and international business executives to promote Rhode Island as a place fostering innovation and economic opportunity," spokeswoman Marie Aberger said in a statement Wednesday. "The governor will be traveling from January 20-23."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Richard Culatta started on the job this week as Rhode Island's first chief innovation officer. The job represents a homecoming for the 37-year-old South Kingstown native after he most recently worked in senior jobs in the US Department of Education.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A study commissioned by the Rhode Island Trucking Association disputes the findings of the state economic study used to build support for Governor Gina Raimondo's truck toll plan.

The study by the international firm IHS asserts that Raimondo's RhodeWorks plan will generate only $24 million to $37.5 million a year in toll revenue, not the $60 million identified in REMI's state-commissioned study.

Richard Culatta, a former Obama Administration education adviser, has been chosen by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the state’s new  $210,000 a year "chief innovation officer."

Raimondo said Culatta will lead an effort to find better approaches to deliver government services in an efficient manner.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo has harped on creating new manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island since she began running for the governorship in 2014. But since moving into the 2nd floor Statehouse office on Smith Hill, the first-term Democrat changed her tune a bit, especially when it comes to recruiting high-tech companies to come to the Ocean State.

This morning, Raimondo’s face was peering out from the first business page of the Boston Globe. Her message was a distinctly different approach from her emphasis on manufacturing for the Ocean State business crowd.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A common concern for opponents of Governor Raimondo's truck toll plan is the fear that the tolls could be extended in the future from trucks to cars. Raimondo and legislative leaders say that's unlikely to happen.

Raimondo's office said the governor's original toll plan included a ban on tolling cars. That plan was passed by the state Senate last June, but the measure died after not being taken up in the House.

The General Assembly is back, and the political year kicks into gear. 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.

Elizabeth Roberts, secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, joins Bonus Q&A to discuss efforts to improve agencies under her watch; the growing cost of the UHIP IT project, and other issues.

RIPR

Elizabeth Roberts, secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the Raimondo administration's attempt to cut Medicaid spending and improve the troubled state Department of Children, Youth and Familes, as well as the outlook on the governor's truck-toll plan.

Republican John Pagliarini -- the winner of Tuesday's special election in state Senate District 11 -- and Democratic rival Jim Seveney say opposition to Governor Gina Raimondo's truck-toll proposal was a significant factor in the race.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Governor's office has has released the preliminary locations of 14 toll gantries. The gantries are part of Governor Raimondo's $1.1 billion infrastructure repair plan, known as Rhode Works, introduced last spring.

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