Moody’s Investors Service is giving Providence mixed comments on its fiscal condition.
Moody’s says an audit revealing a $15 million Providence deficit for the last fiscal year could hurt the city’s credit rating. But it says Providence now has a balanced budget, and it calls that a sign of progress toward restored fiscal stability.
Mayor Angel Taveras inherited a $110 million deficit when he took office in 2011. Moody’s says a series of previous deficits caused by state aid cuts leave Providence little room for error if other revenue gets squeezed.
(PROVIDENCE, RI) National Education Secretary Arne Duncan is about to pay a visit to Rhode Island’s capital city. Duncan will be in Providence February 12th to help launch “United Providence “ – a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a school district and a teacher’s union with the aim of improving public schools.
United Providence is currently working to improve three Providence schools – the Carl Laura Elementary School, Gilbert Stuart Middle School and Alvarez High School.
(PROVIDENCE, RI) Members of the Wampanoag Tribe gathered at Kennedy Plaza Tuesday to protest in solidarity with the indigenous people of Canada.
About 50 Wampanoags did a circle dance in front of Providence City Hall to show their support for Theresa Spence and her people. She’s chief of Canada’s Attawapiskat tribe and has been on a hunger strike since December 11th over the Canadian government’s history of broken treaties.
(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says the state can reduce gun-related violence by passing more stringent laws. Pare says most of the guns used for crime are illegally owned.
Pare says tougher penalties for illegal gun possession helped to dramatically reduce gun-related crime in New York City. He says more stringent punishments could help to have the same effect in Rhode Island.
(PROVIDENCE, RI) Providence firefighters vote Wednesday on a revised deal with the city. Paul Doughty, president of the city’s firefighters union, says members are voting on a couple of changes, but the most important one centers on how well their pension is funded. He says right now the pension is about 30 percent funded. Firefighters will vote on a provision requiring the city to pay at least 95 percent of its yearly contribution until the pension is 80 percent funded.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says the city is boosting efforts to try to reduce gun violence after last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. As Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis reports, Taveras and other mayors plan to stage gun buy-back programs across the state next month.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Photo by Ralph Alswang.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he’s happy with the way Rhode Island is using its $75 million Race to the Top Grant. The state has been working on several major initiatives including annual teacher evaluations and curriculum reviews.
Duncan says his staff will sit down with state education officials next week to review their progress.