Flo Jonic / RIPR

A coalition of Rhode Island religious leaders is calling on lawmakers to put poverty at the top of their agenda this year.  The plea was issued at a Statehouse rally Wednesday.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

There’s a new Christmas decoration at the Statehouse this year.  And it’s anything but traditional.

Secularists have placed a banner on the second floor of the Statehouse to celebrate the birth of Rhode Island founder Roger Williams. He was born December 21st, 1603.  The banner was erected by a group called the “Humanists of Rhode Island.” 

According to its website, the banner is intended to be a counterpoint to the various religious displays now scattered throughout the Statehouse and to serve as a reminder that American government is secular by nature and design.

John Bender / RIPR

Elementary, middle and high school students from across Rhode Island are storming the State House this month to perform music for the holiday season.

The holiday concerts are part of a series put on by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with up to three or four schools singing in a row, in the Statehouse Rotunda.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender caught a few of those concerts and has this audio postcard.

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Gov. Lincoln Chafee has had a change of heart over what to call the tree that graces the Statehouse every December.

After coming in for intense criticism for calling the Statehouse tree a “holiday tree,” Gov. Lincoln Chafee is bowing to public pressure to change the nomenclature.

Foreign nationals would be able to get driver’s licenses under a bill being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon.

One of the cosponsors of the legislation, Democratic Senator Juan Pichardo of Providence, said offering licenses to undocumented residents makes sense.

“By granting a driver’s license for undocumented that will give them the ability to register their vehicles and then pay taxes, therefore having some state revenues,” said Pichardo, “but will also provide a safety measure for many residents.”

RI Government "Owners Manual" Available

Apr 9, 2013

The 2013 edition of the “Rhode Island Government Owner’s Manual” has been published and is ready for pick-up at the Statehouse.

The 300-page directory is published every two years to reflect the results of the November election. It includes contact information for hundreds of officials, including every member of the General Assembly as well as city and town councils.

The book is available free of charge at the Secretary of State’s office. A searchable, electronic version is also posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

people carrying signs inside statehouse
Flo Jonic

Former Boston Mayor and Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn was the keynote speaker at a Statehouse event marking the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Flynn was a guest of Rhode Island Right to Life which stages a protest every year on the anniversary of the controversial ruling.   He told about 200 people assembled that they should take pride in the work they do.