Lincoln Chafee

Oh,  the delicious ironies of Rhode Island politics: Gov. Gina Raimondo posed with a flock of mayors and local officials this afternoon to tout her new executive order that is meant to help Rhode Island cities and towns save money.

As part of her executive order, Lt. Gov. Dan McKee, the former Cumberland mayor, will lead an effort to talk to municipal leaders and get their ideas for saving taxpayer dollars, according to RIPR’s report by our political reporter, the intrepid Ian Donnis.

John Bender / RIPR

The state unveiled the official portrait of former Governor Lincoln Chafee Thursday.  The austere painting is unlike many of the previous portraits.

Take a walk through the statehouse and you’ll see dozens of portraits of Rhode Island governors standing in front of desks, holding books, sitting in regal looking chairs. 

Not Lincoln Chafee. 

John Bender / RIPR

The state Senate has started scheduling confirmation hearings for four of the nomination made by Governor Gina Raimondo for her administration. The first four hearings center on holdovers from Lincoln Chafee’s time in office.

    

The confirmation process for Governor Raimondo’s nominees is slated to start next Tuesday. That’s when separate Senate committees will take up the nominations of Charles Fogarty as head of the Division of Elderly Affairs, and of State Police Colonel Steven O’Donnell to remain director of the Department of Public Safety.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Warwick has become a Rhode Island economic success story. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses what the rest of us can learn from the state’s second-largest city.

One afternoon about 15 years ago, Lincoln Chafee and Scott Avedisian hiked up to the top of the parking garage at Green State Airport. As jets lifted off,  they looked at the huge swatches of undeveloped land nearby. Both quickly came to the same conclusion.

Continuing the themes of her gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Gina Raimondo took office as Rhode Island’s first female governor this afternoon with a pledge to work diligently to improve the state’s struggling economy.

Raimondo, 43, a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard University graduate, projected optimism and a can-do attitude as she delivered her inaugural address under snow flurries and a January chill on the south steps of the State House.

John Bender / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo was sworn in as the state’s first female governor Tuesday afternoon on the states of the state capitol. 

A small crowd braved the cold and snow to watch the historic event. Gov-elect Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, former Gov. Lincoln Chafee and his wife Stephanie, and former Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts were some of the dignitaries looking on.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

West Warwick native Paul Tencher, who has managed winning Democratic US Senate campaigns in Indiana and Michigan, joins Roundtable to talk about the national challenges facing Democrats; Lincoln Chafee's legacy as governor; the latest administration moves by Governor-elect Gina Raimondo; and more.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said one of his biggest regrets is not getting his first budget passed. That budget proposed lowering the sales tax but expanding it to other items and services.

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.

Analysis: Why All The Uproar Over RhodeMap RI?

Dec 11, 2014

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.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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.

RIPR FILE

Local veterans will gather at the Statehouse this Monday to remember troops who have died in combat. The ceremony is part of a national event with roots in New England.

CVS Health

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.

File / RIPR

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.

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