Did anything happen this week not involving the New England Patriots and deflated footballs? Indeed. So read on, dear reader, and thanks for stopping by. As always feel free to share your tips/thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
Happy mid-January, dear readers. Bad news: winter is far from over. Good news: spring training isn't that far, and the political beat remains busy. So thanks for stopping by, freel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is poised next month to win his first full two-year term to what is considered the most powerful post in state government. The Cranston Democrat won a battle for the speakership last March following the resignation of his predecessor, Gordon Fox. Mattiello sat down in his Statehouse office this week to discuss his priorities for 2015 and a host of other issues.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.
During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."
It looks like the RhodeMap RI debate is much ado about not so much. Those who oppose this largely benign economic and social blueprint have blown the results so far out of proportion as to be ludicrous.
The pre-holiday slowdown is descending on the land, but there's still plenty of interesting stuff going on, naturally. So thanks for stopping by and feel free to send me a note at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
Longtime political operative and staffer Matt Jerzyk has been hired as deputy legal counsel by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.
"Matt's experience in city and state government will be a valuable addition as we continue to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs," Mattiello said in a statement.
Jerzyk will continue serving as the part-time city solicitor in Central Falls. He previously served as legal counsel for the House committees on Labor and Small Business, and as senior legal counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is recommending state Representative Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick) as the next chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party.
McNamara was first elected in 1994 and chairs the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, although he may be best known for championing a bill to make calamari the state's official appetizer. The legislation became law this year, after dying in the state Senate in 2013.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.
"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.