RI General Asembly

On Politics
4:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: What's Behind The CVS-Boston Connection

CVS Health headquarters in Woonsocket.
Credit CVS Health

What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and  economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.

Read more
On Politics
2:45 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Providence East Side: Where democracy flourishes in House District 4

While pols and pundits lament the lack of competition in R.I. House elections across Rhode Island – almost half of all lawmakers are unopposed – that isn’t the case on Providence’s East Side House District 4.

The seat opened up after the incumbent, former House Speaker Gordon Fox, stepped away after his capitol office and home were raided by state and federal agents in March. Fox hasn’t been charged with any crimes yet, but he wisely decided against running again.

Three well-qualified Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in the September 9 primary.

Read more
On Politics
5:38 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

RI ConCon Issue Simmers At Statehouse

A battle is brewing over a Constitutional Convention at the Statehouse. Some view it as an important legislative tool, others a way to easily put controversial measures on the ballot.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

As the battle over whether to hold a Rhode Island Constitutional Convention simmers on the back burner in the dog days of August, the debate is taking shape.

Every 10 years, Rhode Island voters must decide whether to hold a so-called ConCon, which is comprised of citizen delegates elected from Rhode Island’s 75 House districts. This time, the discussion is largely along ideological lines, with more conservative groups favoring a convention and liberal and moderate organizations opposed.

Read more
On Politics
1:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Mother of Gordon Fox dies at 92

The mother of former House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence, died this morning. Mary Fox, who lived with her son at his East Side home for many years, was 92.

A domestic worker, Mary Fox was known for her devotion to family and her good nature. She lived with her son until just a few weeks ago, when she went to a nursing home facility. Funeral service plans have not been completed, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

On Politics
2:46 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The R.I. And Mass. Casino Conundrum

Slots are the only attraction at Newport Grand, but a group is trying to bring table games to the casino.
Credit RIPR FILE

It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

Read more
On Politics
3:02 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Chafee, Lawmakers Approve Moderate Budget

The General Assembly has approved the state's $8.7 billion dollar budget.
Credit RIPR

The usual special interest groups are blasting the new state budget approved by the General Assembly. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says maybe lawmakers did  the best they could in tough times.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved an $8.7 billion taxing and spending plan for the financial year that begins July First. This budget has drawn fire from the usual suspects who roam the marble Statehouse corridors lobbying for their causes.

Read more
Scott MacKay Commentary
2:29 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Finally, Smith Hill And RI Colleges Work Together

Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and the Community College of Rhode Island will not see their tuition increase if the state budget is approved.
Credit RIPR FILE

Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.

After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.

Read more
On Politics
9:10 am
Fri June 6, 2014

URI, RIC, CCRI winners in House budget proposal

After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island,  the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.

In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.

Read more
On Politics
2:27 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

RI Assembly Caught in Curt Schilling Rundown Pickle

So here’s another report that shows just how badly the General Assembly has fumbled the 38 Studios ball. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has released a financial consultant’s report that shows that it would cost less for the state to pay off the 38 Studios  bonds than to default.

The finding, by the firm SJ Advisors, states that Rhode Island’s credit rating would take a significant hit if the state walked away from the $75 million in  bond obligations to those who invested retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s folly, 38 Studios.

Read more
On Politics
1:36 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Former Rep. Peter Wasylyk heads back to RI Statehouse

On occasion the best way to pick up Rhode Island political tidbits is to head to Boston, specifically to Fenway Park on the afternoon of the home opener, aka the Big Papi show.

As usual, former Providence Democratic state and devout Sawx fan Rep. Peter Wasylyk was in his seat near the first base line cheering on the team. During a brief conversation, he confirmed that he is going back to the Statehouse to become legal counsel to the new House Majority Leader, Rep. John DeSimone, D-North Providence.

Read more

Pages