Is Rhode Island government finally waking up to leveraging state colleges as wellsprings of economic development? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay sees some hopeful signs on Smith Hill.
After years of malign neglect of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities, the General Assembly finally appears to be turning a corner. Several elements in the state budget approved last week by the House Finance Committee show that Statehouse politicians are finally getting the message on the iron link between education and creating jobs in the Ocean State.
After too many years of giving short shrift to public higher education in Rhode Island, the General Assembly and state government appear to have finally begun to reverse this short-sighted policy.
In the budget that cleared the House Finance Committee on a 14 to 2 vote Thursday, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island have won some important initiatives.
A biomedical research program based at the University of Rhode Island has received $18.8 million in new grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Created in 2001, The Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE), was intended to expand the state's biomedical research capacity. Since that time, it has received $42 million in federal grants, according to URI officials.
The new funding will shift the focus to research in areas of cancer, neuroscience and molecular toxicology.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has appointed a veteran Republican and a veteran Democrat to the R.I. State Board of Elections.
The Republican is Stephen Erickson, a retired state District Court judge and former state representative. Erickson was an associate justice of the R.I. District Court from 1990 until 2010 and was supervising judge in Kent County from 1997 to 2001. He currently is an adjunct professor of law at the Roger Williams University School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Boston University Law School.
Once again, Rhode Islanders are making national news for the low regard we have for our tiny state. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to stop taking Rhode Island for granted.
The Gallup poll discovered that Rhode Island is the state least appreciated by its own residents. Just 18 percent of Rhode Islanders said our small slice of southeastern New England was the best place or one of the best places to live.