Nicholas Mattiello

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposal by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to strengthen the state Ethics Commission is due to be introduced Tuesday.

An enhanced ethics oversight has not always been a priority for Mattiello. The speaker’s office declined to provide details about Mattiello’s ethics proposal prior to its introduction. But Mattiello’s interest in the issue has heartened some longtime government watchdogs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss fallout from the state's new truck toll law, whether he'll support a House floor vote for marijuana legalization, and the latest budget proposal from Governor Raimondo.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Finance committees are expected to take up a controversial bill on truck tolls on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively Legislative leaders have proposed a compromise to raise money for road and bridge repairs.

The new bill would cap truck tolls at $20 for a rig crossing the state. It would also cut the number of toll gantries from 17 to 14. And reduce the amount of money the state borrows for road and bridge repairs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A revised truck toll bill is expected to be introduced in the General Assembly Thursday.

House Majority Leader John DeSimone is expected to introduce the bill in the House, while Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio will sponsor the bill in the Senate.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signaled his support for hundreds of million dollars fewer borrowing than contained in the original proposal unveiled last year by Governor Gina Raimondo.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Governor's office has has released the preliminary locations of 14 toll gantries. The gantries are part of Governor Raimondo's $1.1 billion infrastructure repair plan, known as Rhode Works, introduced last spring.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The General Assembly opens its new session Tuesday. Governor Raimondo’s plan to use truck tolls to pay for bridge improvements will be among the top issues during the legislative session.

Opponents of truck tolls plan to stage a 3 pm rally at the State House this afternoon. 

RIPR file photo

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello wants to implement a truck-toll plan that does not rely on bonding, or that would have a much smaller amount of borrowing. As lawmakers prepare to return to the State House next week, Mattiello’s spokesman says the speaker considers this possible due to a recent infusion of federal transportation money.

Critics call the borrowing in Raimondo’s "RhodeWorks" plan too costly. The governor says the borrowing is necessary to reverse the decline of the state’s bridges.

RIPR FILE

The House Oversight Committee is expected to issue more subpoenas Tuesday in connection with 38 Studios, the video game company that went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island with millions to pay from a state-backed loan. The committee is trying to review how the loan deal got approved.

RIPR File Photo

The leaders of the House and Senate are visiting Israel as part of a delegation organized by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed were invited to take part in the trip. The Jewish Alliance is paying their expenses.

The week-long mission is meant to build potential partnerships with Israel and to exchange information on government, education, and entrepreneurship.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Governor Gina Raimondo continue to discuss the governor’s truck-toll proposal. Mattiello is already supporting some parts of the governor’s infrastructure plan.

Rhode Island is getting one-million dollars to help repair the Park Avenue Bridge in Cranston.The bridge was closed for several weeks this summer.

The money will also help pay for the eventual replacement of the century old bridge. The span was shut for several weeks in June after inspectors deemed it structurally deficient.

Some wondered if the closure was politically motivated. The bridge is close to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s law office. The speaker didn’t push to take up a statehouse proposal for infrastructure repair last session.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have once again cast a cloud over the Rhode Island Statehouse. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders when Rhode Islanders will finally be fed up enough to bring change to Smith Hill.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An advocacy group opposing the new HPV vaccine requirement for seventh graders is raising money to bring the fight to the state capital. Their efforts may hit a roadblock.

 A spokeswoman says some House republicans plan to pre-file legislation aimed at reversing a new HPV vaccine requirement for middle school students. Representatives Robert Nardolillo (R-Coventry) and Justin Price (R-Hopkinton, Exeter, Richmond) have spoken against the new requirement.

John Bender / RIPR

The Cranston Western Little League team has returned to Rhode Island. The team spent the last two weeks competing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport Pennsylvania.

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