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  • January 08, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: The video is up here.

    ---------

    Governor Carcieri visited with Tim White, Arlene Violet, and myself this afternoon to discuss his supplemental budget address and a few other odds and ends.

    Some brief highlights from Newsmakers, which should hit the Web later today, and which will be broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 am on Channel 12, and at 10 on Fox Providence:

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  • January 08, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    Governor Carcieri's special televised budget address last night struck me as a bit of a hodge-podge -- a mix of overdue concepts along with some others that leave continued questions.

    As is his wont, the talk radio-friendly governor took his case directly to the public, communicating the seriousness of the situation, trying to frame it in a national context, and offering steps that might help to burnish his legacy.

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  • January 07, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    As Governor Carcieri prepares to outline spending cuts tonight, Grow Smart Rhode Island offers this:

    In a letter delivered to the Governor, Grow Smart Executive Director Scott Wolf stated, “With all the uncertainty created by economic conditions these days, there are two things of which we can be certain.

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  • January 07, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    One school of thought holds that poverty will always be with us. Perhaps, but that overlooks the fact that government, however flawed, can make an important difference for the better on important issues.

    Two examples:

    1) The federal government, through the Democratic administration of LBJ and the Republican one of Richard Nixon, dramatically diminished the prevalence of hunger in America.

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  • January 05, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    From Governor Carcieri's office:

    Governor Donald L. Carcieri will discuss the State of Rhode Island's financial situation and outline details of his FY 09 supplemental budget during a live, televised address on Wednesday, January 7, 2009. The address will be will air live on live on all three local network TV affiliates (WJAR NBC 10, WLNE ABC 6, and WPRI 12) at 7:00 p.

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  • December 31, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Word comes today of a January 9 legislative hearing on Governor Carcieri's global Medicaid waiver, which he bills as a big money-saver for the state.

    Some Rhode Islanders, such as the author of this letter to the editor in today's ProJo, see it rather differently:

    Born in and raised in Rhode Island, I have been a proud and joyful ambassador for the state in places where people would ask things like, “Isn’t Rhode Island part of New York?” or “That’s the mob state, right?” or “The government is corrupt there, huh?” I would willingly correct false impressions and smilingly talk about all Rhode Island’s pluses.

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  • December 23, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Governor Carcieri touts a federal Medicaid waiver as a ticket to savings in the Rhode Island budget, but it seems as if an awful lot of questions about how this will work remain unanswered. Given how the Ocean State has a very high percentage of elderly residents, this plan comes with considerable risk.

    From the ProJo:

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  • December 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In a switch, House Speaker William J. Murphy -- often described as the holder of the most powerful position in state government -- is taking a wait-and-see approach to just how long he wants to remain Mr. Speaker.

    During a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers, Murphy indicated that he doesn't necessarily intend to hew to a previously discussed self-imposed eight-year limit on his speakership.

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  • December 05, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    -- Speaking of Costantino:

    -- He said Governor Carcieri needs to put forward a budget -- preferably in January -- before the General Assembly can move ahead with the process. In terms of economic development, Costantino says more needs to done to capitalize on existing state resources, such as the ports in Providence and at Quonset.

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  • December 01, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In a state with a history of ethically challenged behavior, the Rhode Island State Police has long had a well-deserved reputation for integrity. And when Channel 12's Tim White looked at the prevalence of accidental disability pensions in Rhode Island, the state police came up very favorably by comparison.

    From my Q+A with Superintendent Brendan Doherty in last week's Phoenix:

    Read More

  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    My friend Tim White has been doing an excellent series on WPRI-TV, Probing Pensions, looking at the high cost of overly generous pensions at a time when Rhode Island and its cities and towns continue to struggle with budget issues.

    His latest report details how the most lucrative pension in the state goes to retired Providence fire chief Gilbert McLaughlin, who collects a monthly tax-free sum of $12,991.

    Read More

  • November 07, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: ON SECOND THOUGHT.

    While it might not look good for Democratic legislators to skip the gov's conference, by and large, it's worth remembering that politics is personal. Governor Carcieri and his lieutenants spent a good part of recent months targeting legislative Dems, sometimes in harsh ways, so it's distinctly unsurprising, in the absence of overtures by the gov, that they would take a pass on attending what was billed as his conference.

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  • October 31, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Laffey, the unannounced Republican gubernatorial candidate for 2010, recently took a cross-country tour with his family, landing in time to see C.C. Sabathia make his first outing for the Brewers. Laffey says visiting Mount Rushmore was the top highlight of the trip, and that he was tempted to set up a coffee shop in upper Montana.

    Read More

  • October 29, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Considering how RI is so deep in the hole, Governor Carcieri's expression of support for eliminating the state income tax seemed grounded in philosophical abstraction. Nonetheless, it was enough to stir his opponents.

    Rhode Islanders to protest Governor for advocating the ultimate tax shift from rich onto the backs of working families

    Read More

  • October 27, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Peoples has the details from today's Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference at the State House.

    "The worst is not over by any means," said Mike Lynch, an analyst with the firm Global Insight. "We see little cause for any optimism."

    Global Insight predicts that Rhode Island's unemployment rate will exceed 7 percent through the end of next year, among the highest in the nation.

    Read More

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