Sheldon Whitehouse

Don't look now, but it's barely more than 30 days until the state primary election that will help shape the next class of state lawmakers. Meanwhile, debate about 38 Studios has again reached a fever pitch. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Staff photo / RIPR

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse co-authored a major package of addiction legislation that just passed the House and Senate. It’s called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA. And it addresses a range of issues, from preventing addiction among student athletes to helping veterans avoid incarceration. But many of the measures it authorizes have yet to be funded.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

In the wake of recent mass and police shootings, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says Congress may be gearing up to consider more gun legislation. But, Whitehouse cautions that he has seen similar efforts fail before.

Whitehouse says he’s hopeful about legislation that would restrict people who are on anti-terrorism no-fly lists from buying guns. It's currently in limbo. Still, Whitehouse says the outlook is promising for gun control advocates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including stories about addiction treatment, intellectual disabilities, medical marijuana, outdoor recreation, antibiotic resistance, and more:

Courtesy Whitehouse Office

Governor Gina Raimondo meets Monday with critics and residents in Burrillville who oppose a proposed power plant. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is declining to take a position on the project.

Whitehouse says his input on the proposed natural gas fired plant could hinder a local decision.

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island officials, citizens, faith groups and more have been reacting today to the violence in Dallas. 

Many Tweeted their reactions, posted on Facebook, or sent statements to our newsroom. We've collected many of them in this Storify below (scroll down).

The end of the General Assembly session is coming into sight, summer beckons, and the politics beat remains frenetic. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s political establishment was rebuked in last week’s presidential primaries as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump coasted to victories. 

Insurgent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won a resounding victory over front-runner Hillary Clinton in Rhode Island’s Democratic presidential primary today. On the Republican side, Donald Trump crushed challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

On a rainy and blustery New England day, voters surged to polls in both primaries to deliver a strong message to the establishment of both major parties, saying emphatically that they aren’t pleased with the status quo.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse stopped by our studio Friday to discuss a wide range of issues, including the 6/10 Connector, the free speech debate on climate change, the outlook for Hillary Clinton, the plight of the middle class, the threat posed by ISIS, and more.

Happy mid-April, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Courtesy Whitehouse press office

  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is backing Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Garland met with Whitehouse Wednesday. Garland is making his customary rounds, meeting with members of Congress as he seeks the judgeship.

Garland faces opposition from Republican lawmakers who say they will not allow his confirmation to proceed.

Whitehouse said he’s working to ensure that Republican members of Congress will properly vet Garland.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Don’t be fooled by the recent blush of September-like weather; New Englanders know winter is on  the way.

In this vein, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced today that the state is getting an additional $2.4 million in federal money from the Federal  Emergency Management Agency to help defray cleanup costs from last winter’s big January snowstorm.

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