Lincoln Chafee

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!’”

RIPR FILE

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.

RIPR

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.

RIPR FILE

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.

The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.

Richard Licht Judgeship Vote Expected For Tuesday

Jun 10, 2014

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.

RIPR FILE

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.

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