The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this Tuesday on a top state official’s nomination to be a Superior Court judge. Richard Licht currently heads the state Department of Administration.
Governor Lincoln Chafee nominated Licht for the judicial post last month. If confirmed, Licht will take the place of retired Superior Court judge Judith Savage and earn close to 150-thousand dollars a year.
Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.
After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.
After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island, the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.
In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.
On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first. Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.
At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.
Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.
The House Finance Committee is expected to vote this Thursday on a new state budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. The General Assembly traditionally makes significant revisions to the governor’s proposed spending plan.
It has become a Rhode Island cliché that Lincoln Chafee is a failed governor because he hasn’t done enough to create jobs in Rhode Island’s flagging economy. This notion has been driven relentlessly by talk radio shills and the editorial and news pages of the state’s legacy print media outlets, some of which are groping for relevance in a reshaped media environment.
A variety of speakers from across the Rhode Island political spectrum will hold a Statehouse rally this afternoon to urge the General Assembly to oppose paying off the 38 Studios bonds.
Among those speaking are Larry Girouard of the R.I. Taxpayers group, spokes people from the R.I. Libertarian Party, the R.I. Green Party and Occupy Providence, the local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Providence is Rhode Island’s most diverse municipality. The capital city is home to just about every segment of Rhode Island’s rich ethnic, racial and socio-economic mix.
Thus Providence is a reliable prism through which to view the never-ending debate over the master lever. What the data show is that the some of the proponents of abolishing it have, as Ricky Riccardo used to say to Lucy on the old Lucille Balll Show, ``some 'splanin to do.’’
Eliminating the master lever in Rhode Island elections is picking up steam in the General Assembly. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says getting rid of straight party voting may be much ado about not much.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to end the so-called master lever, a relic of the state’s urban political machine past. A conga line of statewide elected politicians, from Gov. Lincoln Chafee down to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, support this change.