Lincol Chafee

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The four Democrats running for governor mostly agreed with one another on a host of issues during a forum Monday sponsored by a liberal think tank, the Economic Progress Institute. The issues included jobs, safety net programs, and taxes.

The state’s lawsuit over failed video game company 38 Studios will move forward. Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein dismissed some of the counts, but allowed key parts of the state’s lawsuit to move ahead.

Danielle Blasczak / RIPR

Rhode Island and Minnesota have become the 12th and 13th  state to legalize same sex marriage. It became legal at 12:01 Thursday morning.  Outside Providence City Hall was a hub of activity as gay couples sought licenses while outside, protesters on both sides of the issue picketed. 

John Bender / RIPR

Same sex marriage. Tolling the Sakonnet River Bridge. The 38 Studios taxpayer bailout. Those are some of the topics we touch on this morning. Our regular host, Ian Donnis, is out, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic is filling it.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange has a new name, a new logo and is looking to hire dozens of people. 

From here on out, Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange will be known as HealthSource RI, and it’s looking to hire 50 to 75 people to sign folks up for health insurance, starting in October.

Welcome back to my weekly column. You can find me on Twitter. Let's head in.

Governor Lincoln Chafee said he remains strongly opposed to the idea of defaulting on moral obligation bonds related to the failure of video game maker 38 Studios. On Thursday, an investment expert  analyzed the pros and cons of default for the House Finance Committee.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

By overwhelming margins, the Rhode Island House of Representatives Tuesday passed a half-dozen bills to change the state’s approach to economic development.

One bill would try to create a more streamlined effort through a new Executive Office of Commerce. Another bill replaces the state Economic Development Corporation with a Commerce Corporation headed by a secretary of commerce. 

It is not yet clear precisely how the state will move forward.

The Rhode Island House of Representatives is expected, this Tuesday, to approve a package of bills reshaping the state’s approach to economic development.  House Speaker Gordon Fox and Governor Lincoln Chafee differ on how to move forward.

One of the House bills would replace the state Economic Development Corporation with a Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. It would establish a secretary of commerce, with the idea of making one person responsible for pursuing economic development.

What you think of Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s decision to become a Democrat probably depends on where you stand on his two and a half year record as the nation’s only independent governor and whether you believe he deserves a second term.


Governor Lincoln Chafee’s choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation faces approval by the full state Senate committee Tuesday.  The votes comes amid debate over the EDC’s future.

Chafee’s choice, Marcel Valois, was unanimously approved by a Senate committee last week. Valois led the EDC in the 1990s during Lincoln Almond’s tenure as governor. He says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of helping business when it can and getting out of the way when it can’t.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Newport residents threw a big welcome home party Sunday for Heather Abbott.  She’s the 38-year-old woman who lost the lower part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings.  A veritable who’s who of Rhode Island’s political establishment was on hand to praise her courage and spunk.

The Preservation Society of Newport County donated the use of Rosecliff Mansion for Heather Abbott’s welcome home party.   When she arrived on crutches, wearing a form-fitting royal blue sleeveless dress, she received a round of applause.


The outlook for Rhode Island’s next state budget will come into sharper view when the latest revenue data is discussed this morning.

The annual revenue estimating conference takes place twice a year, in November and May. It’s when legislative staffers offer their estimates of state revenues, based on taxes and other sources of income.

The latest revenue estimates are then used by the General Assembly when it makes revisions to the governor’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July first.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

To the delight of a crowd of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse, Governor Lincoln Chafee on Thursday evening signed into law legislation making Rhode Island the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Two companion bills forming the basis for the law sped through the General Assembly in recent weeks, in sharp contrast to how the issue of same-sex marriage languished for the preceding 16 years.

RI House of Representatives
Catherine Welch / RIPR

Ian Donnis will be reporting from the statehouse as Rhode Island is poised to join the other New England states that have already legalized same-sex marriage. This follows a battle of almost 20 years.

Two companion bills for same-sex marriage are expected to get overwhelming support during a House vote this afternoon. Immediately after, Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to sign the legislation into law during a ceremony on the south side of the Statehouse.