RI general assembly

RIPR FILE

Tourism has long been a foundation of Rhode Island’s economy. As Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration rolls out a new tourism promotion plan, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the state must include local tourism councils in any new initiative.

RIPR FILE

Former Providence State Representative Leon Tejada  has agreed to plead guilty to federal tax and wire fraud charges.

Tejada, 50, has agreed to pay back more than $79,000 to the federal government and acknowledge that he knowingly prepared false income tax returns for clients and skimmed money from their refunds. He deposited the money into his bank account.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  

The gloomy cloud of the 38 Studios debacle still hangs over Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay parses the latest General Assembly probe of the failed video game company.

Aaron Read / RIPR

When she was Rhode Island’s state general treasurer, Gina Raimondo led a successful campaign to overhaul the state’s pension system. As she pursues a controversial truck tolling policy, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why she is not taking a chapter from her treasurer’s book now.

Bradford Gorham, the quintessential Yankee Republican political figure, former Rhode Island House Minority Leader, Republican state chairman and candidate for lieutenant governor and attorney general, died early this morning at his home in Foster. He was 80.

Gorham had been suffering from prostate cancer, said his son and law partner, former state representative  Nick Gorham.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The recent 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have provided an inside view of how Rhode Island state government let you down. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay points to other state agencies in dire need of oversight.

RIPR FILE

Once again, a Providence mayor is ensnarled in a bitter battle with a city employee union, in this case, the firefighters. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if the capital city should go back to the future with city workers.

John Hawkins, the former RI Senate majority leader, father of the R.I. Lottery and a political power in Rhode Island for generations, died early Monday of a stroke. He was 80.

He was active until the last few hours of his life, said his nephew, William Hawkins, who along with other family members was at Hawkins bedside at Rhode Island Hospital when he died at 12:20 a.m. He had stopped one of his favorite spots, Twin Oaks in Cranston just hours before collapsing at his Providence home.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to raise the salaries of some of Rhode Island’s top state employees, a move Republican State Chairman Brandon Bell calls ``absurd.’’  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the latest dust up over state employee salaries.

There’s a Rhode Island cliché: Question: Which state worker makes too much money? Answer: Anyone who makes more than I do.

RIPR File Photo

A new coalition of community and organized labor groups called `Rhode Island Working Families’ is forming in the Ocean State to lobby the General Assembly and conduct grass-roots organizing around issues dear to working and middle-class families.

So far, the coalition includes Teamsters Local 251, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, the United Auto Workers union, the Restaurant Opportunities Center, UniteHere Local 217, Demand Progress and the Service Employees International Union 32bj.

RIPR FILE

Work is the fulcrum of social mobility in our country. In Rhode Island, lawmakers have approved an increase in the minimum wage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that falls far short of what’s needed to help the working poor.

Democrats claim to be the party of working people. Come campaign season, Democratic candidates boast at every turn that they care about ``working families’’ more than Republicans, the party Democrats brand as the tool of the rich and the one-percent.

Rhode Island motorists will pay a penny more per gallon of gas, beginning tomorrow (July 1), under tax changes announced by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.

The gas tax hike was due to an inflation indexing formula that the General Assembly approved in 2014.

Cigarette smokers will be paying an additional  25-cents per pack in Rhode Island taxes beginning August 1 under the budget for fiscal year 2016 approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Dave Barber, a familiar face at the Statehouse and reporter for Capitol Television, is hospitalized in his home state of Michigan after suffering a stroke and a heart attack, according to a Michigan newspaper.

Barber, 60, a former radio talk show host in Michigan and Rhode Island, was visiting Flint when he apparently choked while eating, blocking his airway and triggering other medical issues.

Barber is a patient at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan and is in a medically induced coma, according to his brother Larry Barber.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The high cost of government in Rhode Island is once again in the forefront, as voters in Coventry dissolve the Coventry Fire District. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay asks if this can be a spur for consolidation in our tiny state.

In a referendum  Coventry voters resoundingly refused to give any more of their property taxes to the stanch the river of red ink drowning the Coventry Fire District. They  turned thumbs down on the fire district even though it provides fire and emergency services to the most densely populated part of the community..

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s General Assembly and Gov. Gina Raimondo have reached agreement on her first state budget. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what the new budget will do and what it lacks.

The $8.7 billion state budget for the financial year that begins three days before the Bristol 4th of July parade  seems greased for approval at the Statehouse. As is usually the case, this spending and taxing plan contains elements Rhode Islanders should cheer yet   fails to address some of our little state’s crying needs.

Pages