Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.
This week Dave and Mark talk with Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White. They discuss her takeaway from the chamber’s recent legislative luncheon, the chamber’s legislative priorities and various economic development proposals from state and community groups.
When to Listen
You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
The state retirement board voted in closed session Friday afternoon to approve a proposed pension settlement. The board met in executive session for nearly an hour, ending in a vote of 6 – 1, with 5 abstentions.
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.
One local chocolatier says this has been a busy Valentine’s Day. Jennifer Dowell owns Jennifer’s Chocolates in Wakefield. Sales this year are way ahead of last year, she speculates that maybe the bad weather prodded couples to get their Valentine’s orders in early.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras used his final State of the City address to say Rhode Island’s capital is in better condition than when he took office in 2011. Taveras is part of a three-way Democratic field for governor.
Taveras says a small surplus has replaced the 110 million dollar deficit he inherited upon taking office. He says his administration has bolstered startups, improved graduation rates, and cut the waiting term for permits from City Hall. Taveras called that a decided improvement after he inherited a city facing possible bankruptcy.
The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state and the state corrections department, claiming employment discrimination. The Justice Department claims employment practices for hiring entry-level corrections officers violate the Civil Rights Act.
The lawsuit challenges the hiring practice at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections requiring applicants to take a written and video exam. The Justice Department claims that those exams do not help identify qualified candidates, but instead disproportionately screen out black and Hispanic candidates.