On Politics

Rhode Island Public Radio's political blog. Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis keep you up-to-date with the latest in political news from around Rhode Island.

We also have PODCASTS of regular politics coverage, too!

Pre-2013 archives of the On Politics​ blog can be found here.

One need not suffer from triskaidekaphobia to question Rhode Island's budget outlook. But lawmakers are heading off on their spring break, and the weather shows some (brief) signs of improvement, so it will have to wait. Thanks, regardless, 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.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, and two Democratic U.S. Senate colleagues are urging President Donald Trump to make a “clear and compelling case” before undertaking any major military action in Syria.

In a letter to the president, Reed and Sens. Dick Durbin, D-IL and Bob Menendez, D-NJ, said the president should provide a “legal basis for any potential or anticipated military action in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime in Douma on April 7th.”

Chris Potter / Flickr

It’s that time of year again: income tax filings are due. And candidates for governor are talking about cutting taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says voters should be wary of political tax promises.

David McCullough, the acclaimed author, historian and teacher, will deliver the commencement address at Providence College’s 100th commencement exercises on Sunday, May 20th at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

A master of narrative history, McCullough has won two Pulitzer prizes, two national book awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is the biographer of President Harry Truman  and the author of “The Johnstown Flood” and “Americans in Paris” and “The Wright Brothers,” among other works.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo's approval rating stands at 39 percent in the latest survey by Morning Consult, a Washington-based media and technology company.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican candidate Giovanni Feroce said he will cut taxes sharply, try to make Rhode Island a right to work state, and instill a reliance on blockchain technology if he wins election as Rhode Island's next governor.

During a mid-day campaign event in front of a few dozen supporters at the Eleven Forty Nine restaurant in East Greenwich on Tuesday, Feroce spent almost 20 minutes praising the entrepreneurial spirit of George Washington before launching into his policy prescriptions. He said his focus will be on creating prosperity through education, employment and retirement.

University of Rhode Island

Gina McCarthy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree and give the commencement address at the University of Rhode Island’s commencement on Sunday, May 20th.

To paraphrase a remark (mistakenly) attributed to Mark Twain, the coldest winter I ever spent was a spring in southern New England. But we roll with the punches, right? 

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, citing ethical lapses and misuse of taxpayer money, today called for the firing of Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.

Elisabeth Harrison

Providence County is participating in a trial run of the 2020 U.S. Census. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay traces how something that shouldn’t provoke controversy has become partisan.

Salve Regina University

Sister Jane Gerety, president of Salve Regina University for almost a past decade, announced today that she will retire in June, 2019.

Sister Gerety, a religious Sister of Mercy announced her decision at a university-wide meeting with staff, students and faculty.

“This has been the best job in the world,” she said. “I’ve cherished my work, together with our faculty, of ensuring that every Salve graduate enters the real world with the best chance to succeed, both personally and professionally.”

Sandra Cano Facebook

Democrat Sandra Cano scored a decisive win over Republican Nathan Luciano Tuesday in a special election for an open Rhode Island Senate seat in Pawtucket.

The new men’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island is the school’s top assistant, David Cox, according to university spokeswoman Linda Acciardo. Cox will be paid $700,000 annually for five years under his contract with the university.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A group of elected officials and leaders of community groups gathered Monday at Central Falls to oppose plans for including a citizenship question in the U.S. Census in 2020.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Deborah Gist, the former Rhode Island education commissioner who often jousted with teacher unions, has moved on to become the superintendent of schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she has become vocally pro-union.

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