The annual Statehouse celebration of holidays held dear by Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18) at 4 p.m. at the Capitol.
This annual event is a traditional one: The patron saints of Ireland (St. Patrick) and Italy (St. Joseph) are celebrated in song, speech and glasses hoisted in toasts. Frank O’Donnell, a well-known Rhode Island comedian, has been selected to deliver the annual speech about the Irish heritage in Rhode Island. On the Italian side, Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena, will speak about Italian heritage.
Gov. Gina Raimondo’s first budget proposes stripping about $2.5 million in state Payments-in-lieu of Taxes aid from Providence city government and another $1.1 million in such payments from Cranston. If you believe the General Assembly is going to allow these cuts you probably believe in the Easter Bunny.
Raimondo’s problem: The communities being hit on this one happen to be home to two of the most influential state lawmakers –House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston, and House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has filed a petition requesting that the city licensing board declare that all licenses held by the Shark Bar & Grille on Thayer Street near Brown University be declared void.
The mayor’s reasoning comes as no surprise because owners of the Shark paid a $52,000 in bribe in 2008 to former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who at the time was vice-chair of the Providence Board of Licenses. After the bribe was paid, the Shark obtained a liquor license despite opposition from East Side residents and Brown officials.
Gov. Gina Raimondo has proposed her first state budget. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the politics of our new governor’s taxing and spending plan.
It’s difficult to argue with the rhetoric behind our new governor’s $8.6 billion budget plan. In her televised address from the Statehouse last Thursday evening, Raimondo outlined her goals in a convincing fashion, hitting all the high notes. Her smorgasbord of ideas provides a little something for everyone.
Some good news for Ocean State motorists: Driving fatalities are at an all time low in Rhode Island.
That’s the word from Atty. Gen. Peter Kilmartin, who announced today that road deaths dropped from 65 in 2013 to 52 in 2014. That’s a continuation of the decline in fatalities, from a high of 104 in 2003. The 2014 numbers are the lowest number of road fatalities since 1994.
Most encouraging, perhaps, is the drop in deaths of young drivers aged 16 to 24. Deaths for this age group have dropped from 22 in 2009 to eight in 2014.