RI general assembly

On Politics
2:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Time to try something new on Smith Hill?

The stench of corruption has once again encircled the Rhode Island State House. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it may be time to try something different on Smith Hill.

Unless you have been living in one of those 1950s-era nuclear bomb shelters, or the old East Side tunnel, you’ve probably heard of the latest Statehouse scandal. The state police and federal IRS and FBI agents raided the offices of House Speaker Gordon Fox 10 days ago. The next day he abruptly resigned.

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On Politics
5:23 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Mattiello, new RI speaker, cleans House, starts anew amid old RI dealings

UPDATE: Williams (Labor) Ajello (Judiciary) Melo (Finance) out as committee chairs as Mattiello takes over.

As has been the case since its days as a British colony, Rhode Island’s florid political culture is once again enmeshed in upheaval because of chicanery in high places.

The abrupt demise of Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox of Providence means another episode of   `As the Rhode Island Statehouse turns.’

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Is Fox Yet Another RI Rascal Pol?

Former House Speaker Gordon Fox during the 2014 budget.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island is attracting national attention for all the wrong reasons. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts about the federal raid on Speaker Gordon Fox’s office.

The specter of corruption in high political office haunts Rhode Island. As it has seemingly forever. For a state still in the grip of the recession, there are few things worse than the scene at the Statehouse Friday.

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On Politics
11:11 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Rep. Ray Hull Mulling Providence Mayoral Bid

State Rep. Ray Hull, D-Providence is seriously considering running for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the Sept. 9 primary.

Hull is  a Providence police sergeant who represents House District 6, which takes in parts of the neighborhoods of Manton, Mount Pleasant and Fruit Hill near the Providence College campus.

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On Politics
5:31 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Time for Clay Pell to Step Away from The Car

Whither Clay Pell’s campaign for governor? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

How do you know your campaign is in trouble: When your car is getting more attention than your ideas.

That’s what’s happening to the infant campaign of Clay Pell, who would like to be our next governor.

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On Politics
12:53 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Chafee: `Pot for Potholes'' ?

Scott MacKay Commentary
3:56 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The New RI Public Pension Reality

An out of court settlement marks the end of a contentious lawsuit over public pensions.
Credit RIPR FILE

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

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On Politics
6:31 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The Politics of the RI Pension Settlement

In most protracted court battles, a settlement reached after tortuous year-long negotiations marks the end of a lawsuit and allows the parties to move forward. Often the lawyers celebrate and perhaps even share an odd drop together.

That wasn’t the case Friday. The  proposed legal settlement between the state and the unions that represent public school teachers and state employees and retirees is just the beginning of a cumbersome ratification process that is sure to become ensnared in what is shaping up as a contentious political campaign season in Rhode Island.

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On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pension settlement and the General Assembly: Is it doomed this year?

What everyone in the Rhode Island political swirl should understand about the state pension overhaul settlement details that are due for release tomorrow: This is very likely to be only the beginning of a protracted process.

One thing we know for sure. Even if it is fair and reasonable, not everyone is going to like it. Some unionized state employees and teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than a full restoration of the pension benefits that were sliced dramatically in the 2011 special General Assembly pension session.

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On Politics
4:19 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

New Poll shows RI voters favor legal pot

In the run up to a Super Bowl between two teams from states that have legalized marijuana, thus giving whole new meaning to the term Bud Bowl, pollsters are taking the pulse of public opinion on  the issue in other states.

Today, Public Policy Polling released a public opinion survey that shows 53 percent of Rhode Island voters support changing the state’s laws to sell, regulate and tax pot in a manner similar to alcohol.

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