Jorge Elorza

RIPR FILE

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is moving forward with a municipal identification program first announced in his 2018 city budget. Elorza signed an executive order enacting the program on Thursday. 

Ian Donnis

A longtime community activist is running to be Providence's next mayor. 

The fall campaign announcement season is here, bringing us closer to a new year bursting with political storylines. So 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.

Ximena Conde / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza unveiled the first of ten so-called giving meters Thursday, making Rhode Island's capital the latest city to adopt refurbished parking meters as tools aimed at helping residents in need.

RIPR file photo

Update: The Providence board of Tax Assessment Review today denied Paolino's appeal. Next stop, says Paolino: Superior Court.

Joseph R. Paolino Jr, the former  Providence mayor and large downtown property owner, is seeking a tax reduction on the former Fleet Bank building at 50 Kennedy Plaza because of the presence of panhandlers and incidences of petty crime in the area.

Your humble correspondent never expected to be in the Statehouse for a budget vote in August. Then again, Rhody politics is full of surprises, right? So 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence City Council Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi joined Political Roundtable this week to discuss how a budget impasse affected the largest city in Rhode Island; President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new immigration bill that would give priority to skilled workers; and Mayor Jorge Elorza’s job performance. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Remember Rhode Island’s disastrous deal with former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling? The state invested $75 million of taxpayer dollars in Schilling’s video game company 38 Studios and lost it all before a lawsuit clawed back most of the money. It was one of the worst financial decisions in Rhode Island history. Yet the company that served as the state’s financial adviser on the deal has continued doing business throughout the state.

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Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest hospital chain, is resuming payments in lieu of taxes to the city of Providence, Lifespan announced today.

Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau said that better finances have led the hospital to resume the payments to Providence with a $400,000 contribution. According to the hospital system, Lifespan’s finances have rebounded from a $33 million operating loss to a break-even status on its balance sheet, enabling the system to resume the payments.

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The capital city is one step closer to a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Providence City Finance Committee approved the amended spending plan Monday.

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The Providence City Council begins public hearings Monday on the new proposed city budget, as the state’s largest city continues to struggle to close long-term deficits.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has signed the Police-Community Relations Act, a major effort to address concerns about city police. It took more than three years to get the measure passed.

The Police-Community Relations Act took shape thanks in large part to a dedicated group of supporters who refused to let the measure die. They framed it as an effort to tamp down on police profiling based on race, gender, and sexuality.

RIPR File Photo

Banning smoking downtown would be an attack on the homeless and a waste of time for city police, who ought to be dealing with real crime, said Elorza.

In his veto message, Elorza said, while this “`ordinance is ostensibly about smoking, its true target is the homeless community. Homelessness is a serious problem in Providence, just as it is in cities across the country. As you are aware, the causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and include substance abuse, mental illness and, of course, economic challenges.”’

RIPR File Photo

The Providence City Council passed a controversial community policing ordinance Thursday night, known as the Providence Community-Police Relations Act. The measure, which increases protections against police profiling and codifies how police use body cameras, passed overwhelmingly with a 13-1 vote.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Thursday the Providence City Council votes on a community policing ordinance intended to reduce police profiling. Advocates have been working on the Community Safety Act for several years, and they were disappointed last month, when the Providence City Council tabled the measure in response to opposition from the police officers’ union.

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