The state planning council approved an economic development plan Thursday that’s been sharply criticized. RhodeMap RIcalls for more training, support for industry that play to the state’s strengths and investing Rhode Island’s maritime and defense industries.
Federal dollars helped pay for creating the plan, and that sparked concern that the government could interfere with local and state issues.
The General Assembly had asked for a long-term economic development plan by October 31st. House Speaker Nick Mattiello said Rhode Islanders need to get behind the plan.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.
Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.
What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.
Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has decided to keep A.T. Wall, Rhode Island’s longtime corrections director, and the nation’s longest serving corrections head, in his post.
Wall has served as director of corrections since 2000. A graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School, Wall is a native Rhode Islander who worked as a prosecutor in Manhattan after law school. He is known as erudite and thoughtful and is well-respected within the corrections community locally and nationally.
A legal observer says he expects the legal dispute over a 2011 overhaul of the state pension system to be settled out of court.
Roger Williams University Law School dean Michael Yelnosky said he’s fairly optimistic about the outlook for a settlement. “For a couple of reasons: one, they came so very close before; there continue to be lots of good reasons to settle on both sides,” said Yelnosky.
Efforts to settle the pension dispute fell apart in April when one of six plaintiff groups rejected a proposed deal.
The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to revise how the state implements the Secure Communities program.
Secure Communities requires local law enforcement to hand over people charged with crimes or minor infractions for deportation. Earlier this year, Chafee required a deportation or removal order for anyone handed over to the feds. ACLU director Steve Brown said immigrants need more protection.
If anyone still cares about the Holiday/Christmas tree Statehouse kerfuffle, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced today that this year’s rotunda evergreen will be called a`` Christmas tree’’ and that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will light it on Wednesday, December 3 at 6 p.m.
The 15-foor Fraser Fir evergreen was donated to the state by Sarah Partyka of the Farmer’s Daughter farm in South Kingstown.
``I am happy to be part of such a wonderful holiday tradition, lighting the State House Christmas tree,’’ said Mollis in a statement.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A to talk about the ongoing state pension dispute, HealthSourceRI, CVS' decision to develop a new technology center in Boston, the Rhode Map controversy, and more.