Statehouse

Avory Brookins / RIPR

A couple hundred union workers, local activists and concerned Rhode Islanders protested racism Monday during a rally and march to the Statehouse in Providence. 


Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

One day after the start of Rhode Island's new General Assembly session, a group of lawmakers, religious leaders and advocates for the poor planned to demonstrate at the Statehouse. The Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty organizes the annual event to encourage lawmakers to take up issues affecting low-income Rhode Islanders.

Though largely ceremonial, the event is usually attended by high-ranking lawmakers, including the Governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Twelve new state reps and four new senators will be sworn in when the General Assembly begins its new session Tuesday. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed are expected to be formally re-elected to their leadership positions.

RIPR FILE

The holiday concert: it’s a rite of passage for the thousands kids in bands, chorus, and orchestras across the country. By Christmas Eve, more than 3,000 students will have performed under the marble rotunda at the Rhode Island Statehouse.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Ximena Conde caught up with North Providence’s Middle School Select Band, as they gave their performance. The students learned that a lot can happen before the show goes on.

Greg Berger directs the band. You also hear the voices of drummer Cameron Geruso and clarinetist Trevor Gaouette. 

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A Providence lawmaker has withdrawn a bill that would have provided explicit protections for transgender people to use public bathrooms. State Representative Edith Ajello said the state’s current law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity provides enough protection for transgender people. 

Ajello said she came to the conclusion after speaking with local LGBT advocates, and seeing the letter from the Obama Administration directing schools to allow students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee plans this Tuesday to begin a series of hearings on community service grants.

In Support Of Syrian Refugees, Hundreds Drown Out Opposition Rally

Feb 23, 2016
John Bender / RIPR

Hundreds of demonstrators packed the statehouse Monday chanting “refugees are welcome here.” The demonstration in support of Syrian refugees included Sterck Zaza, who emigrated from Syria to West Warwick as a child. 

“I am here as a mother, a sister, a friend,” said Zaza, who was close to tears a. “I support anyone who comes to this country in peace. And that’s where these refugees are coming from. They are coming for peace. That’s all they want is peace. And they’re my brothers, and they’re my sisters.”

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The General Assembly opens its new session Tuesday. Governor Raimondo’s plan to use truck tolls to pay for bridge improvements will be among the top issues during the legislative session.

Opponents of truck tolls plan to stage a 3 pm rally at the State House this afternoon. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed recently sat down in her State House office, for the final installment in our series of year-end interviews with top state officials.

RIPR FILE

Governor Gina Raimondo is using the words “Christmas tree” in connection with a holiday celebration at the State House. That’s in contrast to the initial approach used by former governor Lincoln Chafee.

In Governor Chafee’s first year in office, in 2011, he called the tree in the State House rotunda a “holiday tree.” Chafee maintained his approach was in keeping with tradition, but critics said the governor was stepping on the spirit of the holiday.

John Bender / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo now says she will welcome Syrian refugees, if the Obama administration asks her to. The statement came after competing rallies at the Statehouse as public debate over the issue continues.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A legislative committee plans to continue its examination of 38 Studios Tuesday. The latest oversight hearings were sparked by the release of a trove of documents related to the failed video game company.

The committee is slated to continue a presentation on the timeline of events leading to the state’s investment in 38 Studios.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo and the state’s congressional delegation were on hand Monday to announce a $25 million initiative to help low income Rhode Islanders. The money comes from state, federal and private donations. It will be distributed by the Rhode Island chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

The money will be doled out over the next twelve months in the form of grants and loans for affordable housing, daycare and education, and public safety.

Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna was honored posthumously with the "Rhode Island Cross" this week. The Green Beret died in action overseas in August.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo met privately with the parents of Sergeant P. Andrew McKenna  Wednesday. She presented them with the flag that flew at half-staff atop the Statehouse following the news of McKenna’s death.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A coalition of researchers from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have released another round of reports on the state’s economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what will happen to the latest round of research.

If Rhode Island were a bench, it would splinter under the weight of all the blue-ribbon commissions and consultant-generated reports that have for decades weighed in on what ails our state’s economy.

Pages