Rhode Island politicians are increasingly looking to non-profit institutions to finance local government. The latest tug-of-war between town and gown is in Smithfield, where the town thinks Bryant University is not paying its fair share. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says its time for cooperation, not confrontation.
Seldom does a politician have a chance to not only change history but the trajectory of his own life. That was the case this year with Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, who spearheaded the same sex marriage bill that passed the General Assembly after years of defeat. Fox, an openly gay politician, discussed how the law will affect his own life in an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic and Scott MacKay.
House Speaker Gordon Fox says he does not favor a General Assembly override of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s veto of legislation that would create an anti-abortion `Choose Life’ Rhode Island license plate that would serve as a fund-raising vehicle for an evangelical Christian anti-abortion group.
Fox’s comments came during an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable panelists Scott MacKay, Flo Jonic and Maureen Moakley. Fox noted that he a long-time supporter of abortion rights who did not vote for the `Choose Life' plate when it was approved in the House.
Rhode Island will not be joining 29 other states that offer anti-abortion license plates. Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created the plates, calling it an inappropriate use of state funding.
Proceeds from the $40 license plates would have gone to a Christian pregnancy clinic called CareNet, where women are advised against getting abortions. Supporters point out that Massachusetts and Connecticut offer similar plates.
State lawmakers approved the bill, but a three fifths majority is needed to override the governor's veto.
Common Cause Rhode Island is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to withdraw his nominee for interim higher education commissioner. The governor has tapped the chair of the Board of Education for a job overseen by the board she leads.
Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.
This week Dave and mull over the recent legislative session. They discuss attempts to restructure the state’s Economic Development Corporation, historic tax credits and the new health insurance commissioner.
When to Listen
You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed into law legislation giving up to four weeks of Temporary Disability Benefits for those out of work to care for a newborn child or sick relative.
The measure, which was advocated by organized labor, covers both newborns and adopted children. The T.D. I. program is financed by a 1.2 percent tax on the first $61,400 in income. The paid leave program takes effect on January 1, 2014.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed into law legislation that will require Bryant University and Smithfield town officials to negotiate reimbursement for the university’s use of town police, fire and rescue services.
The university and its president, former U.S. Rep. Ron Machtley, have argued strenuously against the legislation, saying Bryant already contributes to the town and generates $17 in local economic activity. But town officials and Smithfield lawmakers say it is isn’t fair for Bryant to charge town taxpayers for services used by the university and its students.
Organized labor has been beset in recent years with declining membership in the private sector and a corresponding drop in clout at the Rhode Island Statehouse. Unions have taken their lumps recently, but there were signs of a rebound during the recently adjourned General Assembly session.
Labor did not get nearly everything it wanted; building trades union leaders are unhappy that lawmakers did not approve requiring construction firms bidding on state projects worth $1 million or more to have a union apprenticeship program.