Rhode Island

On Politics
1:40 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

VP Biden Cancels Plan to Come to RI Because of Son's Condition

Vice President Joe Biden has canceled plans to headline a Newport fundraiser Thursday for the Democratic National Committee and to appear during a Salve Regina University event honoring Nuala Pell, the widow of the late senator Claiborne Pell.

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Affordable Care Act
4:42 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

HealthSource RI Rolls Out Health Insurance Exchange Rates

The state-run health insurance exchange has released rates on the 28 plans it will offer residents and small businesses.

The exchange, known as HealthSource RI, offers a dozen plans to individuals and families. Three insurers are providing the coverage that range in price depending on a person’s age and whether they want a “gold” “silver” or “bronze” plan. The assumption is that younger people are healthier so if a 21-year-old and a 45-year-old want the same “gold” plan, the 45-year-old is going to pay $126 more in monthly premiums.

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RI News
4:02 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Pulls Back the Curtain on How the Court Works

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan visits Rhode Island and spills some secrets about how the court works.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered rare behind-the-court insights Tuesday at a forum celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island royal charter.

It’s hard to manage getting by these days without using email, but the Supreme Court of the United States does just fine without it, said Justice Elena Kagan. Speaking to about 500 people at Trinity Repertory Theatre, Kagan said they type everything on paper and have couriers deliver it.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Strong Support in Unionizing Child Care Workers

Last session, the General Assembly passed legislation signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee allowing some child care workers to unionize.

Organizers said the vast majority of workers in a state-subsidized child care program have indicated their support for joining a union.

Chas Walker of Service Employees Union, Local 1199, said more than 500 of about 600 workers have signed cards to become union members. “We’ve filed those cards with the state Labor Board and it’s the process in the law,” said Walker, “and we’re looking forward to having an election as soon as possible.”

The General Assembly passed a law this year allowing the child care workers to unionize.

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Politics
9:04 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Task Force Issues Report to Coastal Cities: Prepare For More Extreme Weather

The town of Westerly was worried that it would still not be ready for the 2013 summer beach season after Superstorm Sandy.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A White House panel says coastal communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy should prepare for future storms due to rising sea levels.

The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding task force has released a list of recommendations to help communities reduce future damage.

The Presidential task force report says that towns and cities near the coastline need to spend money now in order to avoid costly damage later.

That’s because climate change and rising sea levels are increasing the threat of extreme storms.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Searching RI For Evidence of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Cindy Kwolek inspects a maple tree for the Asian Longhorned beetle in Cumberland, RI.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Throughout the month of August, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has been searching for evidence of the dreaded Asian Longhorned Beetle. A species so destructive it could defoliate much of New England.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender went out in search of the beetle with the D.E.M. team.

  

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Politics
8:22 am
Tue August 20, 2013

State Republicans Point to Democrats as Unemployment Rises

State Republican leaders say Democrats have done little to ease Rhode Island's increasing unemployment.
Credit RIPR FILE

The head of the state Republican Party is blaming legislative Democrats for failing to improve Rhode Island’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate climbed by a tenth of percent in July, to 8.9 percent.

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders are wrong to brag about their efforts when the unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
8:39 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Health Insurance Debate Rages On As Obamacare Creeps Closer

HealthSource RI is scheduled to roll out its pricing plans this week.
Credit RIPR FILE

The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.

Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer:  He says, ``I hate it.’’

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Business
6:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Bottom Line:

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg. They discuss the new campaign to market Rhode Island’s strengths; called “It’s All in Your Back Yard,” along with public reaction to the campaign.

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Politics
8:52 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Rhode Island Republicans Head to Boston For GOP Committee Meeting

A handful of GOP activists from Rhode Island are in Boston for a regional meeting of the Republican National Committee that wraps up today Friday.  The get-together offers an opportunity for networking and strategizing.

The Rhode Islanders in Boston include state GOP chairman Mark Smiley, Dave Talan of the Providence GOP, and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Fung, who is Chinese-American, says the regional meeting offers a good opportunity to share ideas, and to make new acquaintances.

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