Politics

Politics
11:32 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Gov. Chafee Joins Obama In Connecticut Promoting Min Wage Increase

Gov. Chafee joins President Barack Obama in Connecticut to promote an increase in the federal minimum wage.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is among the New England governors who plan to join President Obama in Connecticut Wednesday to call for raising the minimum wage.  Democrats are emphasizing the minimum wage as part of their election-year strategy.

Chafee will join the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont for a mid-day event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The governor said he plans to emphasize how boosting the minimum wage is a way the government can help the middle class.

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Politics
9:34 am
Wed March 5, 2014

General Assembly Hearing On Food Stamp Bill Today

A committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would require users to show photo identification.
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

A hearing is slated for today in the general assembly on a bill that would require families using food stamps to show photo identification.  The bill has generated critics who say it’s unfair and unnecessary.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Patricia Morgan of West Warwick says the bill would fight fraud within the program.  Scamming the system happens when someone uses the benefits to buy products not covered by the program, such as cigarettes and alcohol, or when someone exchanges their benefits in return for cash.

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Politics
9:40 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Bonus Q+A: Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Block On Public Education, Tax Reform + More

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block sits down with host Elisabeth Harrison and Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott Mackay to discuss a variety of issues including public school, the floundering economy, and his switch from Moderate to Republican.

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Central Falls
9:35 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau May See Prison Release

Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Former Central Falls mayor Charles Moreau could find himself a free man as early  as Friday, despite his conviction for corruption.  A ruling in another case has through his conviction into question because he guilty to taking a gratuity.

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Politics
12:12 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Sen. Reed Seeks To Preserve RI Naval And Sub Spending

Sen. Jack Reed (RI-D) serves on the armed services committee.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Sen. Jack Reed has begun reviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed military budget. Reed is a member of the senate Armed Services Committee, which will play a role in passing legislation to enact the budget. He says he’s looking carefully for ways to balance the need to trim spending while ensuring the nation’s military can meet the new kinds of security threats it may face in the future.

For example, Reed says he hopes to maintain funding for Rhode Island-based military research.

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Guns
10:58 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Task Force: Send Limited Mental Health Records To Gun Database

A state task force is calling for a change in Rhode Island law, saying the state should contribute mental health records to a national background check database called NICS. The firearms safety task force says Rhode Island should provide records only in limited cases in which a person is involuntarily committed by the courts and poses a significant risk of violence.

Records would not be submitted for people determined to pose only a low risk of violence. And the task force says the state should avoid providing any specific information about a patient's diagnosis.

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Politics
9:05 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Gov. Lincoln Chafee Open, But Cautious About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Chafee's administration saw the decriminalization of marijuana in RI, but he stopped short of legalizing recreational marijuana.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee sounded cautious notes about legalizing recreational marijuana, when he spoke with the Huffington Post about the potential of legalizing recreational pot in Rhode Island. 

His administration saw the decriminalization of the drug in 2013, and medical marijuana has been legal for several years.

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Politics
8:54 am
Wed February 26, 2014

GOP Candidate Ken Block Presents Plan To “Fix Rhode Island”

Block's plan calls for ambitious tax reforms, some of which have been brought up, and failed in previous legislative sessions.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block announced his “Block Plan” to “fix Rhode Island,” should he be elected governor.

Block outlined a series of major tax reforms he would pursue, including reducing the corporate sales tax from 9 percent to 7 percent.  That would make it the lowest in New England.

He also called for eliminating a $500 minimum tax for new businesses. Block said the current tax policy makes Rhode Island an uninviting place for businesses and entrepreneurs.

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Politics
11:06 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Bonus Q+A: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras On The Pension, Education, And More

Providence mayor Angel Taveras sits down with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison, and our political analyst Scott MacKay, about a variety of issues including the proposed pension settlement, charter schools in Providence, and the Superman Building.

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Pension Overhaul
12:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Pension Settlement Appears To Be Back On Track After Snag

A settlement in the state Pension lawsuit appears be back on track after a delay in an announcement earlier in the week.
Credit RIPR FILE

A settlement that could end a legal dispute over the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system is expected to be unveiled Friday. The deal appears back on track after hitting a snag earlier this week.

The federal mediation service that has overseen more than a year of closed-door pension talks is set to hold a news conference (4:15 pm) at a state building near the Statehouse. The subject is expected to be a proposed settlement between the state and a series of public-employee unions.

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