Politics

Politics
9:00 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A Deeper Look Into Rhode Island's Possible Pension Settlment

Public employee unions may be one step closer to accepting a pension settlement.
Credit RIPR FILE

Public employees in Rhode Island are scheduled to vote next week on a proposed deal to settle a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s pension overhaul.  The settlement could save the state as much as $4 billion dollars in payments to retired state employees.  It could also have benefits for union members.  Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis talks details with RIPR's Elisabeth Harrison.

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Politics
8:46 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Twin River Casino To Make Case For Onsite Hotel

Twin River Casino is proposing a four story hotel on its Lincoln campus.
Credit RIPR FILE

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on a bill that would clear the path for a hotel to be built at Twin River in Lincoln. The casino was banned from building a hotel as part of a law passed in 2005.

Twin River says a hotel will help it compete, as the casino faces growing competition from new gambling facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Gambling is Rhode Island’s third-largest source of state revenue, and out of state casinos could cut the Ocean State’s annual revenue by up to $100 million.

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Politics
10:23 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Legislative Leaders Praise Raimondo's FY2016 Budget Proposal

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed addresses the General Assembly, during Gov. Raimondo's presentation of her first state budget proposal.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Legislative leaders Thursday praised the first budget presented by Governor Gina Raimondo. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the spending plan avoids broad-based tax increases while promoting economic development.

“I think the overall balance is good, even though some of the decisions within that balance – whether they’re on the revenue side or the cut side – is something that none of us want to consider,” said Mattiello.

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Politics
10:15 am
Fri March 13, 2015

State Republicans React To Gov. Raimondo's First Budget Proposal

Republican Representative of Foster, Michael Chippendale, responds to the governor's proposed budget.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

A top legislative Republican praised Governor Gina Raimondo for expressing an optimistic message in her budget address last night. But Foster Representative Michael Chippendale said the state GOP also has a number of concerns about Raimondo’s spending plan.

“While it was stated that there were no broad-based tax increases, we do see some that we do not find particularly attractive, particularly the HealthSource Rhode Island example,” said Chippendale.

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Politics
8:45 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Pension Could Be On The Chopping Block For Former Lawmaker Martineau

The state Retirement Board is slated Wednesday to consider revoking a pension for a former legislative leader convicted of corruption. Gerard Martineau was sentenced to more than three years in prison for his crimes.

Martineau pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges that he used his influence to help the CVS drug store chain and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island while doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with them. Martineau, a Woonsocket Democrat served 15 years in the House, rising to the number two position of majority leader.

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Politics
9:25 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Bill To Tamp Down On Corruption Not Enough According To Good Government Group

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has introduced a bill to tamp down on corruption, but good government group, Common Cause of RI, says more needs to be done.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

RI Politicians React To Fox Plea Deal

Gordon Fox faced reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse following his arraignment on three counts of corruption.
Credit John Bender

Reactions have been swift to news that Former House Speaker Gordon Fox pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

The charges include one count of bribery and one count of misusing campaign funds.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports on reaction from both sides of the aisle.

Calling it a "sad chapter" in Rhode Island Politics, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said in a brief statement, "there is no place for public corruption."

A Democrat, Mattiello took over after Fox resigned as speaker, following raids on his home and Statehouse office.

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Political Roundtable
4:00 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Bonus Q&A: Shekarchi on Raimondo, the PawSox, his Political Future & More

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) joins Bonus Q&A to talk about the way forward for Governor Gina Raimondo; the outlook on the state pension case and the PawSox; why he has such a large campaign war chest; and more.

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Politics
9:49 am
Thu February 12, 2015

RI Congressional Delegation Offers Lukewarm Support For Military Action Against ISIS

Senator Jack Reed is the ranking democrat in the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says Congress must "refine" the President's proposal for military action against ISIS.
Credit RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators are offering lukewarm support of President Barack Obama’s request to use military force against Islamic State militants. The President has asked for military action, unbounded by national borders that could last up to three years.

Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Armed Services Committee said President Obama’s plan for military intervention is overdue.  In a statement he calls the plan, a thoughtful proposal, but said Congress must  “refine” the President’s request. 

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Politics
4:20 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Almeida: I Maintain My Innocence

State Representative Joseph Almeida put out a brief statement Wednesday in response to charges he illegally pocketed campaign funds for personal use.

The Providence democrat maintained his innocence, indicating he has no intention of stepping down from his house seat.

"As I move forward, my focus will be on representing the hard-working people of my district." Almeida said. "I respect the legal process and I maintain my innocence as this matter is adjudicated in court."

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