Statehouse

Aaron Read / RIPR

The non-partisan good government group Common Cause isn’t satisfied with a reform measure backed by House leaders in the aftermath of Gordon Fox’s guilty plea earlier this year.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it makes sense for officeholders to file their bank statements for their campaign accounts with the state agency that monitors campaign spending.

RIPR FILE

A bill scheduled to be introduced Thursday would use tax credits to try to spark the creation of jobs.  

State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) is introducing his job development tax credit bill for the third time. He said it’s modeled on a program that incentivizes larger employers to create jobs by lowering their taxes.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island is marking World AIDS Day, Monday with an event at the Statehouse.  The goal is to raise awareness about progress made, and progress still needed.

Eighty-seven new cases of HIV have been reported this year. That’s up from the 74 cases reported in 2013, and 87 too many say doctors and activists.

John Bender / RIPR

A Cumberland teenager received honors at the Statehouse Thursday for his work to get Rhode Island to ratify the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment allows direct election of U.S. Senators, previously selected by state legislatures. Rhode Island never ratified the amendment when passed in 1912.

17 year old Samuel Ackerman began spearheading efforts pushing legislation to ratify the amendment last year.  It passed this session.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 14-2 margin, the House Finance Committee Thursday approved an $8.7 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July first.  Lawmakers say they hope tax cuts will bolster Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

RIPR FILE

There’s another development in the case that led to former House Speaker Gordon Fox’s resignation last month.  Federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday subpoenaed City of Providence records related to Fox.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

An incredible five days at the Rhode Island Statehouse have seen the resignation of Gordon Fox as House Speaker, and Cranston Representative Nicholas Mattiello replace him.  It is expected that many key positions in the House will be changing as well. 

Political Analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio host Chuck Hinman to discuss what all the changes mean for the legislative session.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Senate on Tuesday afternoon unveiled a new plan meant to close a skills gap in Rhode Island. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said the “Rhode to Work” plan is a response to business leaders’ complaints that they’re having trouble finding skilled workers.

The plan calls for creating a single workforce training system; improving adult education; and expanding the number of internships and apprenticeships in Rhode Island.

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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RIPR FILE

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.

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