Maryellen Goodwin

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An amended version of a bill proposing paid sick days for private sector employees is on its way to the Senate floor. The Senate Labor Committee voted in favor of giving employees – like waiters and others in the hospitality industry— four days paid sick leave Wednesday. That’s a drop from the seven days originally proposed by lawmakers, and closer to the five days Massachusetts and Connecticut offer.

It may not yet be time to cue The Final Countdown, but we're getting there with House Finance signing off on a new state budget. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday that would give Rhode Islander workers access to paid sick leave. Supporters say more than 40 percent of the state’s workforce doesn’t currently have this benefit.

The proposed bill would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, for a total of seven days per year. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Aaron Regunberg, says the measure makes sense.

R.I.P. Chris Nocera

Jul 17, 2015

Christopher Nocera, a longtime Providence political operative, Elmhurst neighborhood activist and City Hall fixture, died suddenly last night. He was 60.

A burly man with an infectious sense of humor, Nocera was instrumental in Patrick Kennedy’s 1988 campaign for state representative in Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant that launched the career of  Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son, who later became a Congressman. Nocera put together a fine ground voter turn-out effort that propelled Kennedy to victory over then Rep. Jack Skeffington, a Mount Pleasant funeral director.

The Rhode Island Senate has passed a measure aimed at easing the cost of the high school equivalency test known as the G.E.D.

The bill directs the State Board of Education to consider alternatives to the G.E.D. for students looking to earn a high school equivalency. It also calls for the reinstatement of a fee waiver for low income residents taking the G.E.D.

The testing company that administers the G.E.D. recently introduced a more difficult test and raised its rates to $120.