Lincoln Chafee

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.


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.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island is marking World AIDS Day, Monday with an event at the Statehouse.  The goal is to raise awareness about progress made, and progress still needed.

Eighty-seven new cases of HIV have been reported this year. That’s up from the 74 cases reported in 2013, and 87 too many say doctors and activists.

File / RIPR

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.

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is considering Citizens Bank executive Barbara Cottam for a top position in her new administration, according to Statehouse sources.

Cottam, who has vast experience in both the private and political sectors in Rhode Island, is under consideration for chief of staff, one of the most important positions in any gubernatorial administration.