Lincoln Chafee

John Bender / RIPR

A new program is launching to make it easier for first time homebuyers in the Ocean state. The program offers up to two-thousand dollars a year in tax credits for the life of a mortgage to eligible individuals.

The program is run through a partnership between the non-profit Rhode Island Housing, and various mortgage lenders. So far 41 people have applied for the program.  Governor Lincoln Chafee says it will help Rhode Island on the road to economic recovery.

The federal government has not asked Rhode Island to shelter some of the migrant children entering the country by the thousands from Central America.  More than 100 are already living in the state.

There are currently 119 kids in Rhode Island.  That’s according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These children were not moved here by the federal government, but placed with sponsors, who are family or friends already living in the U.S. The placement has been happening since January. It’s unclear how long the children will be staying.

Rhode Island  Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former  Boston Red Sox pitcher.

In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.

Hockey fans of the Boston Bruins will be able to show their allegiance on their Rhode Island license plates under legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Under the law, the new Bruins plates will cost hockey devotees an extra $40, half of which will go to the state and half will be allocated to charities affiliated with the Boston Bruins Foundation. The money must be spent on Rhode Island-based charities.

Calamari Becomes The Ocean State's Official Appetizer

Jun 28, 2014
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Calamari is now Rhode Island’s official state appetizer. At the signing ceremony, Governor Lincoln Chaffee said this bill is an important way to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry, despite the pushback he got for it.

Chafee said fishermen frequently told him, “We want our calamari bill!”

“And I said to myself, you know [despite] all the cynicism about, ‘Why  are you doing this with an appetizer when there are so many more important things to do?’ I went back to Rep. McNamara and Sen. Sosnowski and I said, ‘Let’s get that calamari bill. The fisherman want it!’”


The governor's name is misspelled on a new plaque celebrating Newport's historic Cliff Walk.  The plaque was unveiled during a ceremony Wednesday marking the reopening of the Cliff Walk after major repairs.

The walk’s three and a half miles have been opening in increments ever since it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The largest portion, two miles long, has now reopened. A smaller, less-traveled part will remain closed, likely reopening in mid-July. Newport received 5 million dollars in state and federal funds to make the repairs.

Clay Pell, one of three Democrats vying for his party’s nomination for governor, is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to sign into law three education-related measures approved by the General Assembly in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session.

The first would place a moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement. The other would change teacher evaluations and the third would provide full funding for all-day kindergarten in Rhode Island communities.

file / RIPR

Several veteran-related bills made it through the General Assembly and are on their way to the governor’s desk. One of those bills gives disabled veterans waivers for classes at state colleges and universities.

Another bill lets honorably discharged veterans and National Guard reservists transfer skills they’ve learned during their service to fulfill requirements for trade apprenticeships.

Lawmakers also passed a resolution urging employers to give veterans who work for them time off on Veteran’s Day.

Some good news on the Wall Street front for the credit ratings of the state and the city of Providence.

Standard & Poor’s rating agency has affirmed the state’s credit rating and removed Rhode Island government from its CreditWatch list after the General Assembly voted to pay the $12 million installment on the state-backed bonds that financed the ill-fated 38 Studios video game fiasco.


The usual special interest groups are blasting the new state budget approved by the General Assembly. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says maybe lawmakers did  the best they could in tough times.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved an $8.7 billion taxing and spending plan for the financial year that begins July First. This budget has drawn fire from the usual suspects who roam the marble Statehouse corridors lobbying for their causes.


In a ceremony at the Statehouse today, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law the state's budget for fiscal year 2015.

Kerrie Bennett, director of legislative and government relations for the University of Rhode Island, is leaving to take an executive post at Delta Dental, the dental insurer.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New England governors met this Tuesday, in a one-hour closed session to discuss the region’s response to opioid problem.

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he plans to sign into law the $8.7 billion budget passed Monday by the Rhode Island Senate. Senators took less than an hour to passing the spending plan on a 32-to-five vote.