Welcome back to my weekly column. The news doldrums of summer are getting left behind (see item 1), So hang on to your hat, it's going to be quite a ride, Rhode Island. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me throughout the week on Twitter. Let's head in.
Rhode Island’s two US senators say the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester are having a negative effect across the Ocean State. Reports, the impact of those cuts was the focus of a forum in Providence Wednesday.
Rhode Island Housing, which recently lost 30 employees partly due to federal spending cuts, was the site of the forum hosted by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.
Senator Jack Reed says the United States needs to send Syria a clear message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Reed’s comments came one day after Secretary of State John Kerry said there was – quote – “undeniable” proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own citizens last week, killing hundreds of civilians.
Senator Jack Reed is in Woonsocket Tuesday, bringing a gift from the federal government.
Senator Jack Reed has secured $1.5 million for the Woonsocket Head Start program. The money won’t be enough to make up for sequestration cuts, according to Reed’s office.
Woonsocket will still lose 30 Head Start slots this fall. Statewide, some 370 slots will be lost.
Nationwide, sequestration has forced Head Start to eliminate and reduce services for more than 57-thousand children for the coming school year, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.
Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer: He says, ``I hate it.’’
Smiley’s position is simple and wedded to his party’s national stance: Repeal the entire law and start over. ``Socialism,’’ he says, ``doesn’t work.’’
Rhode Island’s congressional delegation helped launch Monday an effort to encourage participation in the federal healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare. Nine community health centers around the state will play a role in the campaign.