John F. Kennedy put it eloquently in his 1961 inaugural address: ``Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.’’
The Ocean State elections promise to turn friend into foe, but that happens every two years in our insular political culture. What is becoming notable as the parade forms for the 2014 is the changing of the generational guard.
A bill scheduled for debate Wednesday on Smith Hill would make student test scores no more than one third of a teacher’s annual evaluation. The bill’s sponsor is Senator Michael McCaffrey, a democrat from Warwick. The measure is slated for a hearing this afternoon in the Senate Education Committee.
Rhode Island may finally have a confirmed Board of Education following a vote Tuesday at the State House. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the seven remaining appointees for the board, which will oversee public schools, colleges and universities.
The nominees include proposed board chair, Eva Marie Mancuso and former Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members Patrick Guida and Karin Forbes. Four other members of the 11-person board have already received Senate approval.
Are Rhode Island gun laws tough enough? What’s happening with the 38 Studios investigation? And how about the Mafia – have years of aggressive law enforcement brought them to their knees? Those are some of the questions we put to the head of the state police on this week’s Political Roundtable, hosted by Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic.
A persistently high unemployment rate and the fate of last year’s pension overhaul in mediation are some of the top issues facing the state starting next month. As we transition into the New Year, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis has been talking with state leaders. Last week he sat down with Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, today with Governor Lincoln Chafee, Next week, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis will talk with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he and the General Assembly have most of the authority to approve a settlement in a legal challenge to last year’s landmark pension overhaul. Court-ordered mediation is set to begin next month. State treasurer Gina Raimondo was the architect of the pension overhaul passed last year by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. Raimondo and Chafee are both defendants in the legal challenge filed by five public-sector unions against the overhaul. Chafee says approval by Raimondo isn’t necessarily part of a settlement in the case.
This won’t come as any surprise, but Rhode Island is once again a deep, cobalt Blue state in presidential politics. President Obama’s margin in the Ocean state appears to be the third highest in the nation, after Hawaii (the president’s birthplace, unless you believe Donald Trump) and Vermont, which was once the most Republican state in the U.S.
Confused by that number you keep hearing from the candidates in connection with Medicare – $716 billion dollars? Who’s cutting what? Which side is right? Kaiser Health News‘ Mary Agnes Carey cuts through the campaign clutter for you with an excellent FAQ.