PROVIDENCE, RI – The state Republican Party unveiled its latest batch of legislative challengers during a Statehouse news conference Monday. The GOP hopes to run as many as 50 candidates legislative seats.
The Republican candidates touched on many of the same themes. They say ruling General Assembly Democrats are hurting the state through too much spending and too many tax increases. GOP Chairman Mark Zaccaria says running fewer candidates than in the past is a deliberate strategy.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of the budget commission overseeing Woonsocket's finances said Wednesday he wants to avoid moving the city into receivership or bankruptcy. The commission hopes to close the city's current $7 million deficit through consolidation and spending cuts.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Woonsocket's fiscal crisis is taking a turn for the worse. Woonsocket will run short of cash after the city's legislative delegation wouldn't support a 13 percent supplemental tax increase.
PROVIDENCE, RI – A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in Rhode Island today. The General Assembly voted Tuesday to approve the measure, which would make having an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense, instead of a criminal one. Under the bill, adults caught with small amounts of pot would face a $150 civil fine. Possession is a misdemeanor under current law, carrying possible jail time and fines of up to $500 dollars.
PROVIDENCE, RI – A tentative cost-cutting agreement between the City of Providence and municipal unions will move Rhode Island's capital away from a possible bankruptcy. The deal requires approval by unions representing current workers and retirees.
The tentative agreement will save more than $18 million a year. The pact suspends pension cost of living adjustments for 10 years and eliminates compounded COLAs of 5 and 6 percent. It also moves retirees older than 65 into Medicare. Mayor Angel Taveras says he's cautiously optimistic.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is breaking his silence, telling The Providence Journal that Rhode Island's state government played a large role in the decline of his video game company, 38 Studios. He says state refusals to approve film tax credits for 38 Studios led to financial distress, and Governor Lincoln Chafee's public remarks about the company's financial health scared off investors.
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Woonsocket City Council has approved a resolution asking the state to appoint a budget commission to oversee its finances. This paves the way for Woonsocket becoming the third Rhode Island community to come under the fiscal thumb of the state.
PROVIDENCE, RI – Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries are praising state leaders for persevering in the face of federal threats.
Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed into law a bill that will clear the way for the establishment of three small dispensaries, each capable of growing a maximum of 99 mature plants. U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha has said he will enforce federal drug laws but has stopped short of saying he will shut down the so-called "compassion centers."