Nick Mattiello

The end of an era is dawning, with plans by the PawSox to move to Worcester -- a story that will continue to reverberate in Rhode Island. So thanks 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. (Program note: I'm taking next week off, so TGIF will return August 31.)

The Pawtucket Red Sox drew fans to McCoy Stadium with the slogan “where the dreams begin.” With the team’s decision to move to Worcester,  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay it makes Rhode Island more like where baseball dreams die. (Advance copy of commentary that is scheduled to air Monday.)

The decision Rhode Island baseball fans and most politicians feared came Friday when the Pawtucket Red Sox brass announced they would leave for a new stadium to be built in a seen-better-days section of Worcester.

Summer is zipping by, with August coming up fast and the September primary not far behind. So thanks for stopping by for the return of 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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Steven Frias, the Republican running for the state representative seat held by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) joins Bonus Q&A this week to talk about his campaign and related issues, including the PawSox, taxes, the minimum wage, state spending and more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Steven Frias, the Republican challenging Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, joins Political Roundtable to discuss his campaign and its potential impact, a scuffle over rent in Cranston, and more.

ThisIsBossi / Flickr

Truckers are now paying tolls on the Rhode Island side of on Interstate 95. They've racked up more than a half million dollars in just the first month of the tolling program.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that’s hardly the end of this debate.

  

‘Tis the season of road and bridge construction. It seems like you can’t drive anywhere without encountering the pungent odor of fresh asphalt, the drone of backhoes and long lines of the unofficial summer state tree --- the orange highway cone.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island politics is once again enveloped in the economic rating game. Some national rankings show the state’s economy to be doing well, while others don’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay is skeptical of all the rankings, ratings and lists.

The CNBC business network recently ranked Rhode Island at 45 out of 50 on its 2018 list of the top states for business. Business Insider's web site put Rhode Island much higher, stating it has the ninth best business climate in the country.

RIPR File

Rhode Island Democrats have been beset by battles over women’s rights and the direction of the party. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says voters -- not party bigwigs—will decide these issues. 

Summer is here, the General Assembly has adjourned and the political news keeps coming fast and furious. So thanks 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.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The Rhode Island General Assembly ended its 2018 session on Saturday. One of the top issues throughout the session was the fate of legislation to help create a new PawSox stadium in Pawtucket. Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis spoke with RIPR's Chuck Hinman about where things stand on that proposal.

Q: Ian, bring us up to speed. Where do things stand with the PawSox and a potential new stadium in Pawtucket?

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Cranston Republican Steve Frias -- who almost scored a remarkable upset in 2016, coming within 85 votes of defeating House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello -- announced Monday that he's taking another shot at ousting one of Rhode Island's most powerful politicians.

"The race presents a choice between Speaker Mattiello, Rhode Island’s most powerful State House politician, and Frias, an articulate advocate for the taxpayers and for reform in Rhode Island’s government," Frias said in a statement.

What appears to be the last week of the General Assembly is coming in for landing. So thanks 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 66 to 7 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a $9.55 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and that spells out for the first time how the state will divide revenue from the introduction of sports betting at two locations.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With a potentially costly legal dispute settled between the state of Rhode Island and a group of nursing homes, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Tuesday that he remains concerned about management issues in the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After little discussion during a 40-minute hearing, the House Finance Committee approved Friday a $9.55 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that restores money for human service programs, kills a proposed 25 cent per pack hike in the cigarette tax and gives voters the chance in November to direct $250 million to school construction.

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