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Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visits the Ocean State Tuesday for a fundraiser in Jamestown.

The democrat will attend an event billed as a cookout at the home Liz and Michael Perik, an entrepreneur in education technology. Tickets start at $100 per person, and can cost as much as $2,700. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.

O’Malley stops in the Ocean State in between stumping in Iowa and nearby New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island’s former House Speaker Gordon Fox must report to federal prison this week. Fox will serve a three-year jail term scheduled to start on Tuesday.

Elisabeth Harrison

After months of anticipation, the General Assembly failed to pass a single bill related to charter schools.

That's good news if you're in the charter school world. It means lawmakers failed to reach agreement on bills that would place new restrictions on the expansion of charter schools and reopen the state funding formula to reduce money for charter schools.


Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to make it official next week: he's running for president.

Chafee's campaign confirmed Friday that he will officially launch his bid for the democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday. The announcement is expected during a speech at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

After forming an exploratory committee in April, Chafee has visited some early primary states, including New Hampshire. He often criticizes democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for her Senate vote in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Candidates who’ve run for office owe a total of more than $2 million in fines to the state Board of Elections for past-due campaign reports. The board collected about $43,000 in fines last year.

Former South Kingstown State Senator Patrick McDonald owes the most – nearly $214,000 -- in the Board of Election’s newly posted list of outstanding fines. The outlook for collecting that money is considered bleak as McDonald is currently serving prison time for embezzlement.

Saying the gag order interferes with news organizations' efforts to inform the public, the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association has called on Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter to lift the order.

The gag order prevents parties to the pension lawsuit from discussing details of a proposed settlement, which is already being voted on by union members and retirees.

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Lawmakers will consider legislation today that would up the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. Rhode Islanders can currently start buying cigarettes at age 18. 

The new legislation would bar people under the age of 21 from buying cigarettes, or any other tobacco related products.  That includes cigars, chewing tobacco, and the increasingly popular e-cigarettes.

The House Committee on health, education and welfare is taking up the bill.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday touted her $8.6 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 as a plan that will begin the rejuvenation of Rhode Island's economy.

At the same time, some parts of the spending plan rely on uncertainties, including $46 million in unspecified Medicaid savings and the wiping out of millions of dollars in un-budgeted pay hikes promised to state employees during the Chafee administration.

Don Borman

  Gov. Gina Raimondo gave her first State of the State address last night, unveiling her first budget.

Explore the governor's budget online.

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.

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.

A series of education bills on the agenda at the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday range from a tax credit for college graduates to funding for charter schools.

One bill would give recent college graduates a break on their state income taxes. The idea is to stem the so-called “brain drain,” when local graduates put their newly-minted degrees to work in other states.

The measure would give a maximum $5,000 credit for a worker who received a bachelor’s degree from a local college or university within the last 10 years.

Governor-Elect Gina Raimondo has no immediate plans to hire a new commissioner for K-12 education.

Current Commissioner Deborah Gist has been controversial because of her support for testing as a requirement for high school graduation and teacher evaluations.

Raimondo says she’s in no hurry to make a decision about Gist.

"She’s doing a great job," Raimondo said last week. "Her contract’s not up until the end of June, so there’s really no urgency to move on that one in particular."

After cancelling a trip several weeks ago, Rhode Island College will finally get a visit from President Barack Obama. The president is expected to discuss women in the workplace and the economy.

He is likely to tout new data showing an increase in Gross Domestic Product, which is seen by many analysts as an encouraging sign of growth in the U.S.

RIC officials say classes will go forward as scheduled, although some locations had to be changed to accommodate security for the president.


Besides the competitive state elections and ballot questions, voters next week will elect every member of the Rhode Island General Assembly. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay speaks with morning host Elisabeth Harrison for a look at the major battles in the state legislature.