Jorge Elorza

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Monday made an urgent plea for lawmakers to reject a bill that would create a 42-hour workweek for firefighters, saying it would drive up overtime costs for cities and towns across Rhode Island. But the head of the city firefighters' union disputes the likely impact, and he blames Elorza for causing the standoff over the legislation.

John Bender / RIPR

Municipal officials from around the state are opposing legislation that would make fire department staffing subject to collective bargaining. They say the bill effectively eliminates their power to control the budget.

Mayors and town managers say they should have control over schedules for firefighters, to cut down the cost of overtime. Legislation now pending at the statehouse would require collective bargaining for schedule changes.

The Crow's Nest / University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Providence city officials say they want to be more inclusive of transgender employees and retirees. That includes extending health insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery.

Providence officials say the city’s health plan will now cover a suite of services for employees and retirees who identify as transgender. That includes gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, and behavioral health care.

RIPR FILE

Providence students plan to demonstrate at Providence City Hall today. They’re calling for Mayor Jorge Elorza to provide bus passes for students who live two miles or more from school. Students say they must currently live two and-a-half miles from school, at minimum, in order to qualify for free bus passes.

Roselin Trinidad is a senior at Central High School, and a member of the Providence Student Union, the education advocacy group putting on the protest.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said Thursday an independent analysis shows Rhode Island's capital city will face a stream of annual structural deficits of between $11 million and $19 million, starting in July 2016, and he called for new steps to strengthen the city's financial standing.

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